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Market Update

AT&T in $4.8 Billion Tower Deal, JP Morgan Agrees to Record $13 Billion Fine

Author: Nichole Harper
Last Update: 1:47 PM ET October 21 2013

1:45 PM New York – AT&T agreed to sell and lease its 9,700 cell phone towers to Crown Castle for $4.85 billion. The deal will strengthen telecom carrier’s balance sheet and help management in bidding for wireless spectrum and conduct stock buyback plan.

Stocks on Monday traded sideways and searched for higher level in the afternoon trading as investors focused on domestic earnings and existing home sales and AT&T deal to sell towers for $4.85 billion.

S&P 500 index increased 0.86 to 1,745.36 and the Nasdaq Composite Index increased 10.86 to 3,925.14.

In European markets, the FTSE 100 index gained 0.5% to 6,654.20. The DAX 30 index closed flat and the CAC 40 index in Paris decreased 0.2% to 4,277.

AT&T in Tower Deal for $4.85 Billion

AT&T Inc agreed to sell or lease its 9,700 cell towers to Crown Castle for $4.85 billion in cash deal.

Crown Castle agreed to buy 600 cell phone towers and also obtained exclusive right to lease and operate 9,100 additional towers for an average of 28 years.

The cash will strengthen the company balance sheet as the telecom carrier look to upgrade its network for $14 billion and plans a stock buyback.

Existing Home Sales Decline

Existing home sales declined 1.9% in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.29 million from 5.39 million in previous month.

The home sales were still up 10.7% from a year ago in the month, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Median home price in September increased 11.7% from a year ago to $199,200 and distressed home sales accounted 14% compared to 24% a year ago.

At the end of September, available homes for sale or housing inventory was unchanged at 2.21 million homes, representing 5-month supply compared to 4.9 month in August.

The median time that a house was on market increased to 50 days from 43 days in August and dropped considerably from the 70days in the month a year ago.

U.S. Stocks in Review

Apple Inc (AAPL) increased 2.9% to $523 and the company is expected to release new versions of tablets and phones tomorrow.

Gannett Co. (GCI) plunged 7.2% or $1.99 to $25.50 after the advertising and media group stated total revenues in the third-quarter ending on September 29 slipped 4% to $1.25 billion. Net income in the quarter plunged 40% to $79.7 million or 34 cents a diluted share compared to $133 million or 56 cents.

Halliburton Company (HAL) slumped 2% or $1.03 to $51.43 after the oilfield services provider said total revenues in the third-quarter ending in September advanced 5% to $7.47 billion. Net income in the quarter climbed 16.3% to $707 million or 79 cents a diluted share compared to $608 million or 65 cents.

Hasbro, Inc. (HAS) soared 6.6% or $3.10 to $50.39 after the entertainment products provider net revenue in the third-quarter ending on September 29 grew 2% to $1.37 billion. Net income in the quarter surged 17% to $193 million or $1.46 a diluted share compared to $164.9 million or $1.24.

JP Morgan Chase (JPM) edged down 0.2% to $54.29 and the bank agreed to a mortgage settlement of $13 billion with regulators linked to its Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual acquisitions in 2008.

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Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc