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Democratic National Committee asks all staff to resign: report

5 min ago

The Democratic National Committee has requested all current staffers to submit resignation letters by April 15, according to a report by NBC News. The report says DNC Chairman Tom Perez has launched an overhaul of the party's organization, following a difficult year that included the abrupt resignation of former Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The DNC was also hit with charges it favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary.

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Wells Fargo agrees to $110 million settlement of class-action suit

14 min ago

Wells Fargo & Co. said late Tuesday it agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit over the creation of millions of unauthorized customer accounts. The bank said it will set aside $110 million to settle a class-action suit filed in California in May 2015. "After attorneys' fees and costs of administration, class members will be paid first for out-of-pocket losses, such as fees incurred due to unauthorized account openings," Wells Fargo said in a statement. "Amounts remaining after out-of-pocket losses will be split among all claimants, based on the number and kinds of unauthorized accounts or services claimed." In September, the bank agreed to a $185 million settlement with the $185 million settlement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after employees created more than 2 million unauthorized checking and credit-card accounts for customers. Wells Fargo shares rose 0.3% to $56.10 after hours.

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API data show U.S. crude supplies up 1.9 million barrels: sources

44 min ago

The American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday reported a rise of 1.9 million barrels in U.S. crude supplies for the week ended March 24, according to sources. The API data also showed a decline of 1.1 million barrels in gasoline supplies and a fall of 2.0 million barrels in distillates, sources said. Supply data from the Energy Information Administration will be released Wednesday morning. Analysts polled by S&P Global Platts forecast an increase of 300,000 barrels in crude inventories. May crude was at $48.37 a barrel in electronic trading, unchanged from the contract’s settlement on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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Sonic shares slip after revenue misses Street view

51 min ago

Sonic Corp. shares declined in the extended session Tuesday after the drive-in restaurant chain's quarterly revenue came in below Wall Street expectations. Sonic shares slipped 3.3% to $23.13 after hours. The company reported adjusted fiscal second-quarter earnings of 15 cents a share on revenue of $100.2 million. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast earnings of 14 cents a share on revenue of $104.5 million. For the year, Sonic forecast same-store sales to decline by 2% or be flat, while analysts expect a 0.9% decline.

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Dave & Buster's shares down 6% after earnings beat, but weaker growth

1 hour ago

Shares of Dave & Buster's Entertainment Inc. shares fell 6% late Tuesday after the casual-dining chain beat fourth-quarter per-share earnings expectations but called for lower-than-expected same-store sales for 2017. It also missed quarterly comparable-store sales expectations. Dave & Buster's said it earned $27.4 million, or 63 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $23 million, or 53 a share, in the fourth quarter of 2015. Revenue rose 15% to $270.2 million in the quarter. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected per-share earnings of 59 cents on sales of $270 million. Comparable-store sales rose 3.2%, compared with expectations of a 3.7% growth, according to FactSet. The company said it expects 2017 sales between $1.15 billion and $1.17 billion and a comparable-store sales increase between 2% and 3%. The analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected a comparable-store sales growth around 3.6% for the year. Shares had ended the regular session up 2.3%.

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Amazon adding 1,000 full-time jobs with new Virginia fulfillment center

1 hour ago

Amazon.com Inc. said Tuesday that it will add 1,000 new full-time associates in Virginia when it opens a fulfillment center in Clear Brook. The company has 3,500 full-time hourly employees at three existing Virginia fulfillment centers. The new Clear Brook facility will cover more than one million square feet. Employees there will pick, pack and ship larger items like big-screen televisions and patio furniture. Amazon announced in January that it will add 100,000 full-time jobs over the following 18 months. Amazon shares closed Tuesday up 1.1%, and shares are up 47.6% for the last year. The S&P 500 index is up 15.8% for the past 12 months.

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Depomed dives as activist investor fight leads to new CEO, board members

1 hour ago

Depomed Inc. announced a series of changes at the top after a battle with an activist investor Tuesday, and warned that first-quarter revenue will be lower than expected, sending shares down. The pain-medication company announced that Chief Executive James Schoeneck had resigned and will be replaced by Arthur Higgins, the former CEO of Bayer Healthcare. Higgins will also take a board seat and be joined as a director by Gavin Molinelli, a partner at activist investor Starboard Value, which had agitated for a sale and new board members. "We are pleased to have reached an agreement to work with Depomed," Molinelli said in Tuesday's announcement. "We believe that Arthur Higgins is an excellent choice to lead Depomed." William McKee, the former Chief Financial Officer of Barr Pharmaceuticals, will also join the board, while Samuel Saks, David Zenoff and Schoeneck will depart. Depomed also said that first-quarter sales could be less than $100 million, projecting a range of $95 million to $100 million; analysts on average were projecting revenue of $114.6 million for the company, according to FactSet. Depomed stock fell nearly 7% in late trading after the announcement, dropping to $13.25 after closing at $14.23.

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Restoration Hardware parent shares rally on earnings beat

1 hour ago

RH shares rallied in the extended session Tuesday after quarterly results for the parent company of Restoration Hardware topped Wall Street estimates. RH shares surged 8% to $41.05 after hours. The company reported adjusted fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of 68 cents a share on revenue of $586.7 million. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated 66 cents a share on revenue of $584.2 million. For the year, RH forecast earnings of $1.78 to $2.19 a share on revenue of $2.3 billion to $2.4 billion. Analysts expect $1.94 a share on revenue of $2.33 billion.

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U.S. stocks finish higher on strong economic data

1 hour ago

U.S. stocks finished higher Tuesday with the Dow industrials snapping an eight-day losing streak following better-than-expected economic data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 150.52 points, or 0.7% to finish at 20,701.50, led higher by shares of Apple Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. . The S&P 500 index closed up 16.98 points, or 0.7%, at 2,358.57, with financial and energy stocks leading gains. The Nasdaq Composite index finished up 34.77 points, or 0.6%, at 5,875.14.

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Oil prices end at highest level in about a week

2 hours ago

Oil futures rose Tuesday, as news of disruptions to crude production in Libya helped prices settle at their highest level in roughly a week. Prices also got a boost from some expectations that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will extend its deal on global output cuts past June. May West Texas Intermediate crude rose 64 cents, or 1.3%, to settle at $48.37 a barrel. That was the highest finish since March 20, according to FactSet data.

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Chesapeake Energy's stock rallies on heavy volume after bullish note from Wunderlich analyst

2 hours ago

Shares of Chesapeake Energy Corp. ran up 3.9% in active afternoon trade Tuesday, after Wunderlich Securities published a bullish research note on the oil and gas company. Volume was 29.7 million shares in recent trade, enough to make the stock the sixth-most active listed on the NYSE. Wunderlich analyst Jason Wrangler reiterated his buy rating and $10 stock price target, which suggests potential for a near-doubling from current levels. He wrote in a note to clients that a "solid" Niobrara well test, and "good, oily" results from its Wedge and Oswego wells, "are positive developments as the company ramps activity in the areas with a focus on driving oil growth going forward." He said Chesapeake's stock provides "compelling valuation" along with exposure to natural gas, oil growth and and improving balance sheet. The stock has tumbled 24% year to date, while the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF has lost 8.1% and the S&P 500 has gained 5.5%.

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Gold prices end with a slight loss as U.S. equities, dollar gain ground

3 hours ago

Gold prices ended a dime lower on Tuesday, as gains in U.S. equities and the dollar dulled some of the metal's investment appeal. April gold fell 10 cents to settle at $1,255.60 an ounce after finishing at its highest level in a month on Monday.

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U.S. regulators reject another bitcoin ETF proposal

3 hours ago

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday rejected a proposal that would've allowed for the creation of the SolidX Bitcoin Trust, a bitcoin-focused exchange-traded fund that would've traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The agency cited concerns about possible market manipulation and regulation that echoed its March 10 rejection of the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust, which would've traded on the BATS exchange. It's widely believed by bitcoin watchers that the creation of a bitcoin ETF would provoke an influx of new capital into the digital-currency ecosystem, likely triggering a significant increase in the bitcoin price. The agency is still considering a third ETF proposal from Grayscale Partners, whose Grayscale Bitcoin Trust is one of the few bitcoin-focused investment products available to institutional and retail investors. The price of a single bitcoin ticked lower after the ruling, retreating to $1,054 in recent trade from $1,064 earlier in the day.

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Spicer says he hopes Sally Yates testifies in Russia probe

4 hours ago

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday he hopes former acting attorney general Sally Yates testifies to Congress as part of a probe into possible links between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russian officials. He called a Washington Post story that said the Justice Department tried to block Yates from testifying on Russia "100% false." Also read: Here's why the White House may have wanted to block Sally Yates from testifying.

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Moody's says Einhorn's dual-class stock proposal for GM is credit negative

4 hours ago

Moody's Investors Service said Tuesday a proposal from hedge fund billionaire David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital that General Motors Co. adopt a dual-class stock structure is a credit negative for the car maker and its subsidiaries. "If adopted, the proposal would represent a significant departure from the company's current financial strategy," the rating agency wrote in a statement. "This well-defined and publicly-communicated strategy was an important element in the recent upgrade of GM's ratings." Earlier, GM rejected the proposal, which in effect, would eliminate the dividend on the existing common stock. Moody's said the move would reduce GM's financial flexibility and raise credit risk. "The creation of a perpetual, cumulative dividend in excess of $2.2 billion would saddle GM with a sizable and largely inflexible cash outflow burden," the agency wrote. GM's most active bonds, the 4.350% notes due January of 2027, were trading at 101 cents on the dollar, according to MarketAxess. GM shares were up 2.8% but have gained just 2.5% in the year so far, while the S&P 500 has gained 5%.

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Yellen: Pockets of stubbornly high unemployment remain

4 hours ago

Despite the recovering economy and a substantially improved job market, pockets of persistently high unemployment remain in lower-income and minority communities, Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen said Tuesday. Fed interest-rate policy is not the best tool to combat this problem, Yellen said in a speech to the National Community Reinvestment Coalition meeting. Instead, there is a need for "effective workforce development options for these communities," she said. These programs should include vocational training and apprenticeships as not every student can afford a two-or-four year college degree, Yellen said. The Fed chief did not discuss the economic outlook or monetary policy in her prepared remarks.

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Scottish parliament votes to hold second referendum on independence from UK

4 hours ago

The Scottish parliament has voted in favor of holding a second referendum on independence, media reports said Tuesday. The vote has granted Scotland's first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, the authority to negotiate with Westminster on holding another vote. Scottish voters rejected independence in a 2014 referendum, but voted to remain in the European Union during last year's Brexit referendum. The news comes a day after Sturgeon met with British Prime Minister Theresa May, who has said she will attempt to block a second Scottish referendum taking place during the Brexit negotiations. But Sturgeon said her timetable would not interfere with that process but rather give Scotland the change to choose its future once the terms of the UK's exit are clear and before it's "too late to choose our own course."

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Regeneron, Sanofi announce FDA approval of atopic dermatitis treatment

5 hours ago

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Sanofi SA said Tuesday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Dupixent Injection, the only biologic medicine approved for treating adults with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis that does not respond to topical prescription treatments. Atopic dermatitis is the most common form of eczema and estimates suggest as many as 300,000 sufferers are in need of new treatment options, the companies said in a joint statement. Regeneron shares were halted for the news. Sanofi shares closed up 0.6% in Paris.

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General Motors rejects activist investor's proposal for dual-class stock structure

5 hours ago

General Motors Co. said Tuesday that it rejected a proposal by billionaire investor David Einhorn's hedge fund Greenlight Capital to create a dual-class common stock structure, that in effect eliminate the dividend on the existing common stock. GM said it believes Greenlight's proposal creates "unacceptable risks," including the auto maker's loss of its investment grade credit rating, material governance challenges and uncertain investor demand. "For seven months, we've extensively reviewed the proposed dual-class structure, as well as other capital allocation strategies, and concluded that continuing to execute our strategy and adhering to our current disciplined capital allocation framework is the best path to deliver increased value," said Chief Executive Mary Barra. Greenlight also nominated four candidates for election to GM's board, but GM said the board has "unanimously determined" it would not recommend any of the nominees for election. GM's stock rallied 3.3% in midday trade, as a WSJ report of Greenlight's proposal made the rounds. The stock has now gained 3% year to date, while the S&P 500 has tacked on 5.2%.

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Apple's stock surges toward 5th record close this month

5 hours ago

Apple Inc.'s stock rallied 1.1% in midday trade Tuesday, putting it on track for its fifth record close this month, and 11th so far this year, after a bullish note from UBS. The stock was changing hands at $142.36, above the March 20 record close of $141.46, but below the March 21 all-time intraday high of $142.80. UBS analyst Steven Milunovich said he could envision a scenario that pushes Apple's stock price up to $200 over the next 2 to 3 years, which is 40% above current levels. Even Milunovich's "most likely scenario" has Apple's stock at $175, which is 23% above current levels. A third scenario Milunovich described was a bearish one, as iPhone maturation, the lack of new products and margin pressure could knock the stock down to $125, or 12% below current levels. The has soared 23% year to date, while the SPDR Technology Select Sector ETF has climbed 9.5% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 4.4%.

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House Speaker Ryan won't give timeline for new health-care bill

6 hours ago

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Tuesday he wouldn't put a timeline on a new effort to repeal and replace Obamacare after last week's failure of a Republican bill. "This is too important not to get right," Ryan told reporters at a news conference on Capitol Hill. The Wisconsin Republican said his party also wants to move ahead on border security and a tax-code overhaul.

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General Motors' stock jumps after WSJ report of pressure from activist investor to boost share value

6 hours ago

Shares of General Motors Co. jumped 2.6% in morning trade Tuesday, after The Wall Street Journal reported that billionaire investor David Einhorn was pressuring the automaker to boost stock prices. Citing people familiar with the matter, the WSJ reported that Einhorn is pushing GM to split its common stock into two classes, one that pays dividends and another that entitles shareholders to earnings, including share repurchases, after the dividend is paid. Einhorn believes the move would attract new investors, and could raised GM's market capitalization by $38 billion, the WSJ reported, compared with the current market capitalization of about $53.2 billion. Einhorn's hedge fund Greenlight Capital owned 13.17 million shares of GM, or about 0.9% of the shares outstanding, and call options to buy 25 million more shares, as of Dec. 31, according to SEC filings. The stock has gained 1.2% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has tacked on 4.2%.

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Ford to 'create or retain' 130 jobs as part of $1.2 billion investment in Michigan plants

7 hours ago

The "big announcement" from Ford Motor Co. that President Donald Trump tweeted about earlier Tuesday, highlighting "JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!," was Ford saying it would "create or retain" 130 jobs as it expands capacity at the Romeo Engine Plant in Michigan. That was part of Ford's plan to invest a total of $1.2 billion in three Michigan plants: $850 million to retool Michigan Assembly Plant to build Ford Ranger vehicles, starting at the end of 2018, and to build Ford Bronco vehicles in 2020; $150 million to expand capacity for engine components for several vehicles at Romeo Engine Plant; and $200 million to support a previously announced data center it was building. In January, Ford said it was spending $700 million and adding 700 new jobs at its Flat Rock Assembly Plant. Ford's announcement Tuesday come less than a week after the automaker provided a first-quarter profit outlook that was below expectations, and less than two weeks after announcing a $642 million investment in a German plant that makes Ford Focus vehicles. The stock rose 0.8% in morning trade, after tumbling 9.8% over the previous seven sessions. The stock has now lost 4.9% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 4.6%.

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Amazon launches grocery service, AmazonFresh Pickup

7 hours ago

Amazon.com Inc. announced Tuesday that it is launching AmazonFresh Pickup, a grocery service that's free for Prime members. Customers place their grocery orders online and can have them ready for pickup in 15 minutes or more and brought to a customer's car. Orders have no minimum threshold. AmazonFresh Pickup, which is currently in beta for employees, is available in two Seattle locations. Amazon shares are up 0.5% in Tuesday trading, and up 46.8% for the past year. The S&P 500 index is up nearly 15% for the last 12 months.

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CryoPort's stock tumbles on heavy volume after share offering prices at deep discount

7 hours ago

Shares of CryoPort Inc. plunged 44% to a 4 1/2-month low in active morning trade Tuesday, after the company announced that pricing of a relatively-large share offering at a deep discount. Volume topped 1.9 million shares within the first 15 minutes after the open, compared with the full-day average of about 30,500 shares. The life sciences commodities delivery company said it priced the public offering of 5.5 million newly issued common shares at $2 a share, which was 47% below Monday's closing price of $3.75. The offering represents an 31% increase to the number of shares outstanding, based on FactSet data. The company plans to use the proceeds from the offering, which it expects to be $9.9 million after fees, to grow its business. The stock had rallied 16% year to date through Thursday, but was now shedding 36% so far this year, while the S&P 500 has gained 4.6%.

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U.S. stocks open slightly lower, politics remain in focus

7 hours ago

U.S. stocks opened slightly lower on Tuesday, putting the Dow on track for a ninth straight daily decline as investors continued to grapple with the uncertain legislative outlook in Washington. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 27 points, or 0.1%, to 20,529. The blue-chip average is coming off eight straight down days, its longest streak since 2011. The S&P 500 dipped 2.5 points to 2,339, a drop of 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite Index slid 3 points to 5,828, a slide of less than 0.1%. Recent market losses have been fueled by the failure of House Republicans and President Donald Trump to pass an overhaul of the health care system, which has been read as a litmus test for how easily the Trump administration can enact other economic legislation. Markets have rallied since the election, in large part on bets that Trump's proposals on taxes and regulation would accelerate economic growth if enacted. A failure to sign them into law could put those gains at risk. Among the most active stocks of the day, both utilities and telecom shares fell 0.4%. Both sectors are considered defensive plays. On the upside, energy rose 0.4% alongside a 0.9% rise in the price of crude oil.

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Carnival shares rise after earnings beat estimates

7 hours ago

Carnival Corp. shares rose 1.5% in Tuesday trading after the cruise company reported first-quarter earnings that beat estimates. Net income was $352.0 million, or 48 cents per share, up from $142.0 million, or 18 cents per share, for the same period last year. Adjusted EPS was 38 cents, beating the 35-cent FactSet consensus. Revenue was $3.8 billion for the quarter, up from $3.7 billion last year and meeting the FactSet consensus. Passenger ticket sales totaled $2.8 billion, up from $2.7 billion last year and in line with the FactSet consensus. Onboard and other revenue was $978.0 million, up from $923.0 million and ahead of the $962.0 million FactSet consensus. The company expects second-quarter adjusted EPS of 43 cents to 47 cents, compared with the 46-cent FactSet consensus. The company also raised the full-year outlook to a range of $3.50 to $3.70 from December guidance of $3.30 to $3.60. The FactSet consensus is $3.61. Carnival shares are up 20.1% for the past year, while the S&P 500 index is up 15% for the last 12 months.

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Power Solutions stock rockets after China-based Weichai makes equity investment

8 hours ago

Shares of Power Solutions International Inc. rocketed 52% in premarket trade Tuesday, after the maker of alternative-fuel power systems announced a $60 million equity investment by Weichai America Corp. As part of the deal, Weichai, which is a subsidiary of China-based diesel-engine maker Weichai Power Co. Ltd., will buy 2.7 million newly issued shares at $8 a share, representing a 25% premium to Monday's closing price of $6.40. Weichai will also buy 2.4 million shares of preferred stock, which will be convertible into 4.8 million shares of common stock. "Through this alliance, we will dramatically expand adoption of our engines and technologies for transportation, power generation, and industrial applications within our current markets, including China, the world's largest market opportunity," said Power Solutions Chief Executive Gary Winemaster. The stock has tumbled 15% year to date through Monday, while the S&P 500 has gained 4.6%.

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Square launches readers in the United Kingdom

8 hours ago

Shares of Square Inc. were up 2% in premarket trade Tuesday after the company announced a launch in the United Kingdom. With Square in the United Kingdom, business owners can use Square's readers for transactions. The is the fifth country for Square, alongside Canada, Japan, Australia and the U.S. Shares of Square have gained 24% in the past three months, compared to the S&P 500's gain of 4%.

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Rent-A-Center adopts 'poison pill' to help fend off unsolicited acquirer

9 hours ago

Rent-A-Center Inc. said Tuesday that it adopted a shareholder rights plan, also known as a "poison pill," to reduce the likelihood that an investor would gain unsolicited control of the company. The rent-to-own operator declared on March 25 a dividend of one preferred stock purchase right for each outstanding common stock, payable on April 14 to shareholders of record on April 7. The right allows shareholders to buy one-thousandth of a share of newly created Class D preferred stock for $25, which can be exercised if an investor acquires a stake of 15% or more of outstanding common stock. If exercised, the right entitles its holder to buy a number of common shares. The rights plan comes after Engaged Capital Holdings LLC disclosed in a filing on March 23 that it now owns about 9 million shares, or 16.9% of the shares outstanding. Rent-A-Center's stock, which edged up 0.9% in premarket trade, has tumbled 19% year to date through Monday, while the S&P 500 has gained 4.6%.

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