In the stock market today, equities are up modestly in the wake of positive data on manufacturing in China, which reached a seven-month high in October, pointing to a stronger economy there and globally.
Icahn wants Apple to borrow $150 billion for a stock buyback. Many say it looks like he's jockeying into position for a seat on the company's board. Just check out the letter Icahn sent to Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Meanwhile, crude oil is trading down again today, with light crude oil for December delivery trading down about 0.2% near $96.70. Gold prices are up more than 1% at near $1,351.10 an ounce.
One of the biggest losers today: NQ Mobile Inc. (NYSE ADR: NQ) is down about 47% as shares are halted in afternoon trading. Earlier today, the shares fell more than 50% after analysts at Muddy Waters issued an 81-page report ranking the stock at a Strong Sell.
The firm accused NQ Mobile of reporting 72% of its revenue fictitiously, according to several news reports.
Biggest gainers: Corelogic Inc. (NYSE: CLGX) is up nearly 19% to $32.07 as third-quarter revenue beat the Street's estimates by 1.8% at $405.5 million.
Earnings in the News Today
Xerox is down about 10% after it scaled back its outlook for 2013 to $1.08 to $1.10 per share. It reported $286 million in profit, about $0.22 per share, up from $0.21 per share a year prior.
And PulteGroup is up about 7% at $17.81 in today's session. It reported new orders declined 17% from a year prior, although total revenue increased about 21% to $1.58 billion.
Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) also reported upbeat earnings, and shares are up more than 1% at new 52-week highs today. Ford reported Q3 adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.45, higher than the analyst consensus of $0.38 per share. Revenue was $36.0 billion, up from the $33.6 billion the Street expected.
In other major earnings today, Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) is down more than 13% at $21.38 as it's reporting revenue of $1.64 billion, down about 4% from last year and lower than the Street expected. Its profit was $0.47, well above the $0.40 per share analysts expected.
In acquisition news, McKesson Corp. (NYSE: MCK) is up about 7% at $152.99 after the company signed an agreement to acquire a majority stake in German company Celesio for $8.3 billion. McKesson also posted second-quarter EPS of $2.27 on revenue of $33 billion, beating estimates for $2.04 in EPS on $32 billion in revenue.
Analyst Actions: KKR Financial
KKR Financial Holding (NYSE: KFN) is down more than 6% at $10.18 after KBR Capital downgraded its stock to Market Perform from Outperform today.
And US Airways Group Inc. (NYSE: LCC) has been upgraded by analysts at Deutsche Bank to a Buy rating from a Hold. The firm also raised its price target on the stock to $30 from $21 a share. Shares are up 6.5% at $22.79, hitting a new 52-week high today of $23.16.
Today's top story: Make a "Precious" Exception for This $4 Stock