AVB added to S&P 500

AvalonBay Communities, Inc. (AVB:NYSE) will become the twelfth REIT in Standard & Poor's 500 stock index.

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The Alexandria, Va.-based apartment REIT will replace Symbol Technologies, Inc. (SBL:NYSE), a manufacturer of bar code and inventory scanning technology that was acquired by Motorola, Inc. When the SBL/Motorola deal is sealed, AVB will join apartment REIT peers Archstone-Smith (ASN), Equity Residential (EQR) and AIMCO (AIV) on the index. Some analysts were surprised by the choice, expecting REITs with larger floats, like Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. (HST), and General Growth Properties (GGP), would be picked for inclusion ahead of AVB. Following the announcement on January 3, AVB’s shares popped by $2.30, or 2.1 percent, to $131.05 in after-hours trading. The REIT’s shares fell $1.30 during regular trading the same day.