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Stocks End Week and Start Month Moving Higher; Container Store Doubles in Debut

Hot Stock Minute

Stocks ended the week and began the month with modest gains. Traders seemed to be chewing on Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index alongside their leftover Halloween candy. The Institute's report for October had a reading of 56.4. Estimates had been for 55.0. The actual figure was a slight increase from September's reading of 56.2.

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Retail chain The Container Store (TCS) nearly doubled today in its debut as a publicly traded company. Shares debuted near $36 after being offered at $18 which had been the top end of the predetermined range. The Container Store currently has 62 stores. It hopes to expand to at least 300 stores. Today's gains give the chain a market capitalization above $1.6-billion.

Dow component Chevron (CVX) moved lower today after reporting an earnings miss ahead of the opening bell. The company made $2.57 a share, when analysts had been expecting $2.71. Revenue was significantly lower than expectations at $55.66-billion compared to $58.41-billion. The company blamed weak results in refining as well as higher operating costs. On a positive note, Chevron's oil and gas production rose 3% percent globally.

RBS (RBS) sank nearly 8% on a restructuring plan. The company announced today that it will create a bank within the bank to isolate its riskiest assets. The move is meant to calm concerns within the British government and to speed-up the bank's eventual privatization. The government currently owns more than 4/5 of the company. Shares of RBS had been up 7% year-to-date going into today's session.

Now First Solar (FSLR) rose nearly 17% on its earnings which came out yesterday afternoon. The company posted profits of $1.94 a share, far outshining estimates of $1.13. Revenues soared 51% year-over-year to $1.27-billion. The consensus had been for $839-million. Shares of First Solar were up 57% year-to-date, even before today's climb.

Ariad Pharmaceuticals (ARIA) regained 16% today after plunging 44% yesterday. The drop came after the company halted sales of a leukemia drug. The FDA says the medication causes life-threatening blood clots and constricts veins.

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