Stocks' rise begins to slow Monday

NEW YORK – U.S. stocks ended with small gains on Monday, following a big rally last week, as several broker upgrades lifted the technology sector while investors awaited results from aluminum giant Alcoa Inc. to unofficially kick-off earnings season.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 18.24 points, or 0.2 percent, to end at 10,216.27, with 21 of its 30 components finishing higher.
The Nasdaq composite index gained 1.91 points to 2,198.36. The Standard amp& Poor’s 500 index rose 0.79 points to 1,078.75, with its materials and industrials sectors leading to the downside while the technology sector climbed.
Crude-oil prices fell below $75 a barrel, and gold futures also lost ground.
CSX reports profit jumped 36 percent, beating view
n Jacksonville – U.S. railroad CSX Corp said on Monday that its profit rose 36 percent in the second quarter, beating analysts’ expectations, as volume improved across the varied markets the company serves.
CSX said net income totaled $414 million, or $1.07 per share, compared with $305 million, or $0.77 cents a share, in the same period last year.
Not counting discontinued operations, net income rose 47 percent and earnings per share were up 51 percent from a year earlier.
Analysts on average were expecting 98 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Jacksonville, Fla.-based CSX said revenue in the second quarter increased 22 percent from the prior year to nearly $2.7 billion.
CSX said automotive volume jumped 63 percent due to an increase in North American light vehicle production driven by higher sales and lower inventory levels.
Hefner bids $5.50 a share to take Playboy private
n CHICAGO – Playboy Enterprises Inc. looks likely to be in play, with opposing bids from founder Hugh Hefner and the company that owns long-time rival Penthouse magazine. Shares of Playboy shot up 42 percent in New York Stock Exchange mid-day trade.
Hefner on Monday offered $5.50 in cash for each of the shares he doesn’t already own, a premium of about 40 percent to the Friday closing price of the Class B shares. The bid values Playboy at $185 million.
Shortly after the announcement, Friend Finder Network, the owner of Penthouse, said it was preparing to make a counteroffer later on Monday. Friend Finder Chief Executive Marc Bell said Hefner’s offer “dramatically” undervalues Playboy.
MCT, Reuters

Carlie Kollath / NEMS Daily Journal

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