The S&P 500 extended gains after comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen reinforced the chances of a rate hike in December. Markets currently price in a 90% shot of a year-end hike. Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) slid after federal prosecutors leveled charges against a number of executives involved in kickbacks and fraud. A former executive at the drugmaker and former CEO at its pharmacy partner Philidor Rx Services were charged for their involvement in the scheme. Staples (SPLS) reported a drop in profit and revenue over its third quarter as same-store sales declined at a faster-than-expected pace. The stationery retailer's current-quarter adjusted earnings guidance also came in on the weak side. Microsoft (MSFT) rose after being upgraded to BUY from NEUTRAL at Goldman Sachs. The rating change was driven by a positive outlook for growth in its Azure cloud business.
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