U.S. Stocks Rise, Paring Monthly Drop, on Libor, Profit Reports

Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) — U.S. stocks rose, paring the steepest monthly tumble in 21 years, after bank lending rates declined and profits topped analysts’ forecasts at Express Scripts Inc. and Wynn Resorts Ltd.

Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase & Co. climbed more than 5 percent after the cost of borrowing dollars for three months fell. Medco Health Solutions Inc., the biggest U.S. manager of pharmacy benefits, rallied more than 7 percent after Express Scripts, the second-largest, boosted its 2008 earnings projection. Wynn Resorts, the biggest U.S. casino company, rose 6.8 percent after increased gambling in Macau boosted profit.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced 10.77, or 1.1 percent, to 964.86 as of 11:31 a.m. in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 102.34, or 1.1 percent, to 9,283.03. The Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 14.32, or 0.8 percent, to 1,712.84.

The S&P 500, down 35 percent in 2008, has failed to rise on consecutive days for five weeks, the longest period since 2001. Financial stocks led today’s advance after losing 49 percent this year following almost $700 billion of writedowns related to subprime mortgages.

The Dow average has lost 15 percent and the Nasdaq has dropped 19 percent in October. This month’s sell-off erased more than $9.5 trillion from the value of stocks worldwide, almost one-third of the total value lost this year, as credit-related losses and writedowns by financial firms topped $684 billion.

JPMorgan Climbs

JPMorgan rose the most in the Dow average, adding 6 percent to $39.87. The largest U.S. bank by market value said it issued $25 billion of preferred stock and warrants to the U.S. Treasury as part of the government’s plan to shore up lenders and thaw credit markets.

Morgan Stanley increased 85 cents to $16.94. Financial companies in the S&P 500 climbed 2.9 percent as a group.

A measure of borrowing costs between banks dropped, capping the first monthly decline since May, after central banks provided cash and cut interest rates to unlock the supply of credit.

The London interbank offered rate, or Libor, for three month loans in dollars slid 16 basis points to 3.03 percent, the 15th consecutive drop, according to the British Bankers’ Association.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said it’s “hopeful” that one or more credit-default swap clearinghouses will begin guaranteeing trades in November or December as it pushes dealers to reduce market risks.

Express Scripts added $5.39 to $62.96. The third-largest U.S. manager of drug benefits boosted its 2008 forecast to a range of $3.07 to $3.10 a share.

Medco rose 7.3 percent to $39.39.

Las Vegas

Wynn Resorts increased $5.69 to $52.19. The Las Vegas-based company said third-quarter profit rose 14 percent as more gambling in Macau made up for declines in Las Vegas. Revenue gained 18 percent to $769.2 million, beating the average estimate from analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Clorox Co. increased $2.35 to $61.56. The maker of Glad trash bags and its namesake bleach reported profit and sales that rose more than analysts estimated, helped by purchases of Burt’s Bees lotions and Green Works biodegradable cleaning products.

Monster Worldwide Inc. rose $1.28 to $14.15. The operator of the world’s biggest online job-search Web site said third-quarter profit increased 28 percent as the company cut costs and squeezed more revenue from the slumping employment market.

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