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Dow Climbs Back Above 15,000, Nasdaq Hits Highest Level Since 2000

Dan Berman
Hot Stock Minute

It was an auspicious start to the week on Wall Street. The Dow climbed back above 15,000 and the Nasdaq rallied to its highest level since November 2000. Meanwhile, the S&P enjoyed its fifth straight day of gains. The moves higher came on encouraging economic news which showed exports from China rising more than expected. The situation in Syria may also have played a part in today's session. President Obama is scheduled to address the nation tomorrow pushing for a military strike against the country's regime.

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Fiber-optics maker Molex (MOLX) skyrocketed more than 31% to top $38.50. Privately-held Koch Industries has entered into an agreement to purchase Molex for roughly $7.2 billion or $38.50 a share. The purchasing company is run by the Koch brothers, Charles and David, known for their political activism. The takeover has been approved by the boards of both companies.

Dell (DELL) shares were unchanged after news that activist investor Carl Icahn is withdrawing his bid for the PC maker. That leaves Michael Dell and Silver Lake Management all but certain to succeed in their bid to take the company private again. Icahn still disapproves of the proposal, but says it would be nearly impossible for him to prevail in his fight for a better deal. The original offer put forward was for $13.65 a share. It was raised by a dime amid the ongoing fight with Icahn.

Homebuilder Hovnanian (HOV) climbed 2% despite an earnings miss. The company reported profits of 6-cents a share, a penny short of expectations. Revenue rose 23.6% over last year to $478.4 million, but was still well short of the consensus which was for $513.05 million. Hovnanian blames the miss on rising mortgage rates and weakened consumer confidence during July and August. It has concurrently been trying to raise home prices to improve margins.

Tesla (TSLA) hit the skids today after hitting an all-time high last Tuesday. The stock dropped over nearly 4%. It peaked last week above $173 per share. The stock started the year at about $35 a share.

Apple (AAPL) rose 1.5% to close above the $500 mark today. The move higher comes ahead of a product event tomorrow. Apple is expected to unveil an iPhone 5S as well as a cheaper phone dubbed the 5C for markets outside the U.S. There are also reports that Apple is preparing to ship phones to China Mobile, China's largest wireless carrier with 700 million subscribers

Delta Airlines (DAL) took off, climbing 9% on news of its addition to the S&P 500. The decision means the stock will be added to many index funds. It replaces BMC Software (BMC) in the index which is being bought by Bain Capital. The change takes effect after the end of tomorrow's trading session.

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