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While you were sleeping: Kellogg, Mondelez shares rally

While you were sleeping: Kellogg, Mondelez shares rally

By Margreet Dietz

Nov. 1 (BusinessDesk) - Wall Street advanced amid better-than-expected corporate earnings including for food companies Kellogg and Mondelez, while US Federal Reserve policy makers began their two-day meeting.

Shares of Kellogg jumped, up 6.4 percent as of 1.47pm in New York, after the cereal maker posted better-than-expected earnings amid cost-cutting efforts, reporting its first gain in sales in at least two years.

“Operating profit margin expansion got an added boost from the transition out of Direct-Store Delivery, and we posted another quarter of sequential improvement in our net sales performance,” John Bryant, Kellogg’s chairman, said in a statement. “There was some timing benefit that comes out of the fourth quarter, but these results put us solidly on track to deliver on our full-year 2017 financial guidance.”

Shares of Mondelez also rallied, up 6 percent as of 2.54pm in New York, following its quarterly results.

Wall Street moved higher. In 2.36pm trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.15 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 0.55 percent, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 0.18 percent.

“You look at the earnings out of these big players and they continue to impress,” Steve Chiavarone, portfolio manager with Federated Investors in New York, told Reuters. “It strikes me that that leads you to a much more bullish outlook for the fourth quarter.”

Shares of Mosaic also climbed, up 8.6 percent as of 1.46pm in New York, after the US fertiliser company reported earnings that exceeded estimates and announced cost cuts.

"Mosaic is taking proactive steps to accelerate business performance," Joc O'Rourke, chief executive officer, said in a statement. "While these decisions are difficult and have impacts on our employees, today's actions put Mosaic in a strong position to benefit as market dynamics improve."

Mosaic will idle for at least a year its Plant City, Florida facility, which can produce up to 2 million tonnes of finished phosphate products annually, because it is among the company's costliest plants to operate, O'Rourke said.

The Dow rose as advances in shares of Intel and those of Apple, recently up 2.5 percent and 1.4 percent respectively, outweighed declines in shares of General Electric and those of Pfizer, recently down 1.6 percent and 0.6 percent respectively.

Shares of Pfizer slid after the drug maker’s latest quarterly results failed to impress investors amid concern about its Essential Health division.

“While Essential Health revenues remained challenged primarily due to continued headwinds from products that recently lost marketing exclusivity and product supply, we had solid operational growth in emerging markets and in biosimilars," Ian Read, chief executive officer, said in a statement.

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst John Boris said Essential Health was “under pressure” and that investors were concerned about new competitors grabbing sterile injectables market share before Pfizer’s manufacturing challenges are fully addressed, Reuters reported.

Europe’s Stoxx 600 Index ended the session with a 0.3 percent gain from the previous close. The UK’s FTSE 100 Index rose 0.1 percent, while France’s CAC 40 Index added 0.2 percent.

Financial markets in Germany were closed for a public holiday.

The euro weakened following a report showing slower-than-expected euro-zone inflation.

(BusinessDesk)

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