Stocks ended the week, extending their record-setting winning streak. Both the Dow and S&P hit all-time highs for the third day in a row. The rally means markets have now enjoyed six straight weekly gains. Today's push higher seemed to be the result again of yesterday's confirmation hearings for Janet Yellen, who has been nominated as the next Fed chair. Yellen indicated she would continue with the central bank's stimulus program until the economy seems strong enough for a taper.
Kimberly Clark (KMB) gave up losses of more than 6% in the premarket but ended the day relatively flat on word of a spinoff plan. The maker of Kleenex says it's considering the creation of a new company for its health care business. The unit sells surgical and anti-infection products for operating rooms. The plan at this point would be for a tax-free distribution of the new stock that would go to existing Kimberly-Clark shareholders. The stock went into today's session coming off a new 52-week high set yesterday and is up 27% in 2013.
Exxon Mobil (XOM) moved higher on word that Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A) has taken a holding in the company. 13F Filings show Warren Buffett's company has bought nearly $3.5-billion worth of the oil giant's stock. Insiders say the Oracle of Omaha likely placed the order himself given the size of the investment. Until now, Exxon has had rather modest gains in 2013, up about 5%.
13F filings show FedEx (FDX) is also being grabbed up by a bunch of billionaires. The stock rose more than 2% at one point during today's trading session. George Soros has bought 1.5-million shares of the shipper and Third Point's Daniel Loeb has also been accumulating shares. John Paulson is getting in on the action as well, acquiring 647-thousand FedEx shares. Paulson has also upped his stake in Vodafone (VOD) betting it will be a takeover target. AT&T (T) is said to be working on a bid for next year. Vodafone and AT&T were both up fractionally today.
Sony (SNE) moved fractionally lower as it began selling the new PlayStation 4. The company claims the gaming system is 10-times more powerful than its predecessor. Its release also comes a week ahead of some tough competition: Microsoft's (MSFT) X-Box One. Shares of Sony have rallied 26% so far this year. Microsoft stock is up about 38% in the same time.
Vanda Pharmaceuticals (VNDA) skyrocketed for the second time this week as a government advisory panel threw its support behind Vanda's experimental drug Tasimelteon, which is meant to help blind people sleep. Today's jump follows a separate spike on Tuesday which already sent the stock up 89% in the past week.
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