Stocks Rally Amid Takeovers, Caterpillar

U.S. stocks ended higher on Monday as a round of corporate takeovers and strong earnings from Caterpillar boosted investor sentiment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 104.83 points, or 0.89%, to 11,913.62, led by a 5% rise in Caterpillar, Inc. The S&P 500 rose 15.94 points, or 1.29%, to 1,254.19, led by natural-resource stocks and financials. The Nasdaq Composite gained 61.98 points, or 2.35%, to 2,699.44.

Ellison’s Oracle Corp. on Monday unveiled a deal to acquire RightNow Technologies Inc., expanding its cloud computing arsenal, three weeks after rival Salesforce.com sought to minimize the tech giant’s efforts in the major corporate IT trend.

Rising precious-metal prices helped Caterpillar Inc. to more than double its mining-equipment sales in the third quarter and lift its order backlog to a record level, results showed Monday. For the third quarter, Caterpillar said its profit climbed to $1.14 billion, or $1.71 a share, from $792 million, or $1.22 a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue climbed to $15.72 billion from $10.45 billion.

Netflix Inc reported an increase in third-quarter revenue that beat analyst expectations but said DVD subscriptions would sharply decline in the fourth quarter. Its revenue rose 49 percent from a year earlier to $822 million in the quarter that ended in September. Earnings per share of $1.16 on net income of $62 million.

States cut 49,000 jobs over the past year and localities 210,000, according to an analysis of Labor Department statistics. There are 30,000 fewer federal workers now than a year ago — including 5,300 Postal Service jobs canceled last month. By contrast, private-sector jobs have increased by 1.6 million over the past 12 months. But the state, local and federal job losses have become a drag on efforts to nudge the nation’s unemployment rate down from its painfully high 9.1 percent.

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