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Stocks Move Higher Despite Shutdown; Potbelly More Than Doubles in Debut

Dan Berman
Hot Stock Minute

Stocks moved higher today in the absence of a key economic report. Despite the fact that this was the first Friday of the month, there was no jobs data released by the Labor Department. The lack of an employment report, or an update on the unemployment rate, was a direct result of a massive stalemate among lawmakers. The partial government shutdown has now lasted four full trading days with no end in sight.

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Sandwich chain Potbelly (PBPB) more than doubled today in the hours after its initial public offering. The company released 7.5-million shares at $14, only to see them top $30 by mid-morning. Potbelly has nearly 300 stores nationwide with the highest concentration in the Midwest. Starbucks Chief Executive Howard Schultz is the company's largest shareholder.

Facebook (FB) rose nearly 4% back above the $50 mark today. The gains came on a company announcement that it now plans to sell advertising over its Instagram photo-sharing service. Even prior to today's gains, Facebook stock is up 17% in the last month on a number of upgrades. It has climbed 76% year-to-date as it masters advertising on mobile devices.

Tesla (TSLA) climbed more than 4% today following two days of steep declines. The stock had shed about 9% after the release of a video showing a Model S sedan on fire. The driver of the vehicle in question claims the flames erupted after he ran over metal debris on a highway. Tesla shares are still up nearly 400% since the start of the year.

Adobe (ADBE) moved fractionally higher despite word of a hack attack. The software giant says software code in some of its most popular programs including Adobe Acrobat has been stolen. Data about millions of customers was also accessed. Adobe says it discovered the breach about two weeks ago, and so far there's no evidence of any cyber attacks.

Sotheby's (BID) shares were flat despite news that the auction house has adopted a poison pill to fend off activist investor Daniel Loeb. Sotheby's will now bar any investor from accumulating more than 10% of its shares. Loeb already holds close to that amount. He could still buy more, but under the plan Sotheby's could then issue more shares diluting his stake. Loeb recently issued a letter accusing Sotheby's of failing to embrace modern art sales, missing opportunities, and overpaying CEO Bill Ruprecht.

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