Stocks Rise With S&P 500 Capping Best Week Since 2013

U.S. stocks rose, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index capping its best week since 2013, as companies from Procter & Gamble Co. to Microsoft Corp. climbed after reporting earnings.

P&G added 2.3 percent after saying it would exit its Duracell battery business. Microsoft gained 2.5 percent as quarterly sales topped estimates on cloud-computing growth. SodaStream International Ltd. surged 15 percent after a report that it is testing PepsiCo Inc. brands. Amazon.com Inc. slid 8.3 percent after posting the biggest quarterly net loss since at least 2003.

The S&P 500 added 0.7 percent to 1,964.57 at 4 p.m. in New York. The equity rallied 4.1percent this week, the most since January 2013. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 127.51 points, or 0.8 percent, to 16,805.41.

“Earnings have been very good,” Mark Spellman, a portfolio manager who helps oversee $4.3 billion at Alpine Funds in Purchase, New York, said by phone. “A large part of this market rise since the decline has been on the idea the Fed will be here to protect you.”

Markets started to turn around on Oct. 16 after St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard said policy makers should consider delaying the end of quantitative easing. The S&P 500 is up more than 5 percent since then, recouping about half of the drop since its record in mid-September.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index slid 1.4 percent to 16.30 today. The gauge known as the VIX has fallen 38 percent since the S&P touched a 6-month low on Oct. 15.

Health Shares

Health-care shares added 1.4 percent, the biggest gain among the 10 main industries in the S&P 500. A New York City doctor tested positive for Ebola after returning from aid work in West Africa.

Almost 80 percent of S&P 500 companies that have released results this season beat profit projections, while 61 percent surpassed revenue estimates.

P&G gained 2.3 percent to $85.16. The company said it would exit Duracell, preferably by splitting the business into a standalone company and giving shareholders the option of exchanging P&G shares for stock in the new entity.

Microsoft climbed 2.5 percent to $46.13. Revenue at the ailing Nokia handset business, which Microsoft acquired earlier this year, also topped projections, while sales of Azure cloud software and Web-based versions of Office programs more than doubled.

United Parcel Service Inc. advanced 0.1 percent to $100.59 after profit beat estimates. The company said it expects shipments during December to climb 11 percent. FedEx this week forecast record shipments of packages between Black Friday and Christmas Eve, an 8.8 percent increase from last year, as e-commerce hits a peak.

SodaStream, Amazon

SodaStream surged 15 percent to $24.45, the most since May 2012, after industry newsletter Beverage Digest said the company plans to test PepsiCo-branded products.

Amazon shares lost 8.3 percent to $287.06, the lowest since August 2013. The online retailer forecast sales and profit for the fourth quarter that missed analysts’ projections. That puts Amazon on track to lose an estimated $40.5 million for the year, which would be the company’s largest annual loss in 12 years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Pandora Media Inc. plunged 13 percent to $20, the lowest in a year. The largest Internet radio service reported user growth slowed to 5.2 percent in the third quarter.

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