Industrials, tech lead stocks higher
NEW YORK — U.S. stocks rose Tuesday as industrial and technology companies recovered some of the big losses they took over the last month. Strong company earnings also contributed to the gains, but stocks stayed calm as traders waited for results from the midterm elections in the U.S.
Industrial and basic materials companies made some of the biggest gains following reports from fertilizer maker Mosaic and granite, limestone, sand and gravel seller Martin Marietta Materials. Bond prices dipped, sending yields higher. Oil prices continued to fall, extending four weeks of losses. British stocks fell as negotiators from the U.K. and European Union as remained deadlocked over the issue of Ireland's borders.
The midterm elections will determine control of the House of Representatives and Senate, and 36 governorships are being contested along with other state and local positions. The vote could affect U.S. trade, economic and security policies.
Chicken, biscuit chain Bojangles' sold
CHARLOTTE — A North Carolina-based chicken-and-biscuit chain has been sold to a pair of New York firms.
Bojangles' announced Tuesday that it has agreed to be purchased in an all-cash deal by Durational Capital Management LP and The Jordan Co. LP.
The deal, subject to shareholder approval, is expected to close in the first quarter of fiscal year 2019. Bojangles' said in a statement that when the deal closes, it will be an independent, privately held company and keep its Charlotte headquarters.
The Charlotte Observer reported Bojangles', which started in Charlotte in 1977, has been beset with a number of challenges since going public in 2015. This summer, Bojangles' said its quarterly profit fell more than 71 percent.
Openings dip, exceed jobless ranks
WASHINGTON — The number of jobs posted by U.S. employers declined slightly in September but still exceeded the number of unemployed Americans and remained near a two-decade high.
The report from the Labor Department is the latest evidence that U.S. companies are straining to fill jobs in the face of a robust job market with low unemployment.
The agency says job openings declined 4 percent to roughly 7 million, close to the highest levels on records dating back to December 2000. The number of openings far exceeded the roughly 6 million people who were unemployed in September.
The number of available jobs, in fact, has topped the number of unemployed for six straight months. Steadily strong hiring has lowered the U.S. unemployment rate to a nearly five-decade low of 3.7 percent.
CVS tops profit forecasts, backs outlook
NEW YORK — more prescriptions and lower taxes pushed CVS Health past third-quarter expectations as the pharmacy giant closed in on a deal it will use to change how millions of people manage their health.
CVS Health said Tuesday that it expects to complete its $69 billion acquisition of the nation's third-largest health insurer, Aetna, before Thanksgiving.
The companies announced their proposed combination late last year, with plans to dive deeper into providing care and to capitalize on a growing push from employers and insurers to control medical spending, in part by keeping people healthy.
CVS Health will expand the care it provides through many of its nearly 10,000 stores, converting them into places where customers can do anything from tracking blood sugar to keeping chronic conditions in check. CVS operates more than 1,000 clinics in its stores, which is marketed as a better option to deal with low-grade problems like sinus infections, rather than paying higher fees at the doctor's office or emergency room.
CVS also wants to use its tie up with Aetna and its more than 22 million customers to monitor prescription use and to help people stay on their medications.
CVS CEO Larry Merlo told analysts that both CVS and Aetna, which reported better-than-expected results last week, have created a solid financial foundation "on which we will build our revolutionary new model" for care.
In the third quarter, CVS Health's prescription volume in stores open at least a year jumped 9 percent. That pushed revenue from its retail-long-term care business up more than 6 percent to about $20.9 billion.
CVS Health also recorded a $268-million drop in income taxes due to federal tax cuts.
Overall, net income climbed 8 percent to $1.39 billion, while adjusted earnings per share totaled $1.73. Revenue rose 2 percent to $47.27 billion.
CVS Health Corp. is the nation's second-largest drugstore chain. It also runs prescription drug plans for customers like insurers and employers, processing more than a billion prescriptions annually.
The company also reaffirmed on Tuesday its forecast for 2018 adjusted earnings of between $6.98 and $7.08 per share. CVS Health has been conservative with its forecast this year as it focuses on the Aetna deal.
Toyota's profit rises on sales, cuts
TOKYO — Toyota Motor Corp. reported a 28 percent surge in its net profit in the last quarter, helped by growing sales in Europe, Asia and the Americas, and raised its earnings forecast for the full year.
The top Japanese automaker said Tuesday that its July-September profit totaled $5.2 billion. Quarterly sales rose 2 percent to the equivalent of $64.7 billion.
The manufacturer of the Camry sedan, Prius hybrid and Corolla subcompact forecast a $20 billion profit for the fiscal year through March. That exceeds its earlier forecast of $19 billion), but is down nearly 8 percent from the previous fiscal year.
Toyota sold 2.183 million vehicles in July-September, up from 2.175 million vehicles the same period a year earlier.
Vehicle sales slipped in the U.S. and Japan but improved in Europe, the rest of Asia and Central and South America. The company stuck to its full-year forecast for selling 8.9 million vehicles globally for the year through March 2019.
Cost reductions and marketing efforts helped the results for the latest quarter though an unfavorable exchange rate hurt, according to Toyota.
Thanksgiving is latest chip flavor
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Those who crave the tastes of Thanksgiving no longer have to wait for the meal to be cooked.
Pringles is selling chips that taste like turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie.
The limited-edition chips are not available in stores. The three-pack stackable mini cans were set to go on sale Nov. 6 at 11:59 p.m. EST online at the kellogsstore.com. They cost $14.99, and supplies are limited.
The snack brand produced eight Thanksgiving flavors last year that came in a TV dinner-style tray. Those flavors included mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and cranberry sauce-flavored chips.
EU approves Disney's Fox purchase
BRUSSELS — European Union authorities say they have cleared Disney's acquisition of Fox's entertainment assets, provided Disney sells off some TV channels it controls in Europe to maintain competition. The EU's executive commission said Tuesday it gave its approval to the deal.
Disney's $71.3 billion deal to buy the 21st Century Fox assets, which include Marvel's X-Men and Avengers franchises, is part of its plan to compete with tech companies such as Netflix and Amazon as the entertainment industry moves into the digital streaming era.
Disney shareholders and U.S. regulators had already approved the Fox bid.
The European Commission said Disney agreed to sell off all factual TV channels it controls in Europe to address concerns the combined company would have eliminated competition between two big wholesale suppliers.