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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
June 10, 2014
12:22 EDTIDIX, SGMS, AGN, FRAN, MRK, ACHN, IGT, RSH, VRXOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were lower at midday, threatening to break their recent winning streak. The market has steadily moved higher over the past week and has seen the Dow and S&P move to all-time highs, albeit on very light volume. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., wholesale inventories rose 1.1% in April, with sales up 1.3%, which were both better than forecast. The JOLTS report showed job openings climbed 289K to 4.46M in April. In China, official data showed an index of consumer prices rose 2.5% year-on-year in May, while China's producer price index contracted 1.4% during the month. COMPANY NEWS: Allergan (AGN) once again rejected the takeover proposal being made by Valeant (VRX) in partnership with hedge fund Pershing Square, saying that their upwardly revised bid still "substantially undervalues the company, creates significant risks and uncertainties for the stockholders of Allergan, and is not in the best interests of the company and its stockholders." Allergan said in a letter to Valeant that it publicly disclosed that the Allergan board has "serious concerns" about the large stock component of the proposal and that the latest Valeant proposal does not warrant discussions between the companies. Following the latest twist in this ongoing story, shares of Allergan were fractionally lower, while Valeant was down a bit over 1%. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Achillion (ACHN), which rose another 54% near noon after having gained 47% yesterday. This morning JMP Securities upgraded Achillion following Merck's (MRK) acquisition of Idenix (IDIX) yesterday, while Piper Jaffray became the latest Street research firm to say it believes Achillion is positioned as an acquisition target. Also, Achillion announced that the FDA has removed the clinical hold on sovaprevir, an NS3/4A protease inhibitor, to permit the conduct of trials in patients with HCV. Also higher for a second straight session was Scientific Games (SGMS), which rose nearly 13% after the company announced the appointment of a new President and CEO. The company's shares had risen yesterday after Reuters said another company in the same space, International Game Technology (IGT), was exploring a sale and has attracted interest from rival gaming companies and private equity firms. Among the noteworthy losers was apparel, jewelry, and accessories retailer Francesca’s (FRAN), which sunk more than 13% after the company's first quarter quarter results fell short of analysts' consensus estimates and it cut its fiscal 2014 outlook. Also lower following its own earnings report was RadioShack (RSH), which declined over 9% after reporting a Q1 loss that exceeded analyst's expectations and warning that it may need to borrow additional funds or raise capital if the current trend in its operating results continues or further declines. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 14.18, or 0.08%, to 16,928.92, the Nasdaq was down 6.62, or 0.15%, to 4,329.62, and the S&P 500 was down 3.39, or 0.17%, to 1,947.88.
News For AGN;VRX;ACHN;SGMS;RSH;MRK;IDIX;IGT;FRAN From The Last 14 Days
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January 28, 2016
19:02 EDTMRKMerck receives FDA approval of Zepatier
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18:37 EDTMRKFDA approves Merck's Zepatier for chronic hepatitis C
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15:49 EDTVRXValeant comments by Hillary Clinton not new, says Evercore ISI
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15:42 EDTVRXValeant volatility increases after accused by Clinton of 'predatory pricing'
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15:34 EDTVRXValeant accused by Clinton of 'predatory pricing'
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07:08 EDTMRKFDA PDUFA Date for Merck's Grazoprevir/Elbasvir is January 28, 2016
January 27, 2016
12:19 EDTMRKPiper Jaffray biopharma analyst holds an analyst/industry conference call
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11:07 EDTMRKGilead sinks as Attorney General probes pricing strategy
Shares of drugmaker Gilead (GILD) are underperforming after Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey warned that her office may bring an unfair commercial conduct complaint against it related to the pricing for its Hepatitis C virus treatments Sovaldi and Harvoni. UNFAIR PRICING: Healey, in a letter addressed to Gilead CEO John Martin dated January 22 that has just been made public, said that her office is considering whether Gilead's pricing strategy for Sovaldi and Harvoni may constitute an "unfair trade practice" in violation of Massachusetts law. "Because Gilead's drugs offer a cure for a serious and life-threatening infectious disease, pricing the treatment in a manner that effectively allows HCV to continue spreading through vulnerable populations, as opposed to eradicating the disease altogether, results in massive public harm," Healey stated in her letter to Martin. Healey, who urged Gilead to adjust its pricing strategy, noted that the company has invoked the high cost and risk associated with research and development as a justification for its prices, but she said that Gilead quickly recouped its outlay to acquire Pharmasset by selling "$12.4B worth of HCV medication in the first year alone" after its deal. The AG, who said that Sovaldi costs $1,000 per pill in the U.S. but only $10 per pill in Egypt and about $4 per pill in India, contends that American taxpayers "have been footing the bill for Gilead's record profits." FREQUENT TARGET: The pricing of Gilead's hep C treatments have been the focus of significant criticism and political rhetoric in the past. In December, Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden and senior committee member Chuck Grassley released the results of an 18-month investigation into the pricing and marketing of Sovaldi and Harvoni. The company "pursued a marketing strategy and final wholesale price of Sovaldi - $1,000 per pill, or $84,000 for a single course of treatment - that it believed would maximize revenue," and "fostering broad, affordable access was not a key consideration in the process of setting the wholesale prices," the senators wrote. Members of the Affordable Drug Pricing Task Force, who held a press conference last November to announce "meaningful action" to combat the "skyrocketing" costs of pharmaceuticals, specifically took aim at Sovaldi. During her campaigning efforts, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has repeatedly decried the "outrageous" prices of specialty drugs. OTHERS TO WATCH: AbbVie (ABBV), Merck (MRK) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) also market or are at work on therapies for hepatitis C. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, Gilead slid 2% to $90.35.
10:00 EDTMRKOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy downgrades include: BG Group (BRGYY) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse... Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Citi... Bill Barrett (BBG) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Ladenburg... Brown & Brown (BRO) downgraded to Underweight at Morgan Stanley... Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BTIG... Canadian National (CNI) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James... DreamWorks (DWA) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Topeka... FirstMerit (FMER) downgraded at RBC Capital... Gentex (GNTX) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Baird... Haverty Furniture (HVT) downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at KeyBanc... Hercules Technology (HTGC) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Compass Point... Horizon Technology (HRZN) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James... Installed Building downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at KeyBanc... Jarden (JAH) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citi... K+S (KPLUF) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Berenberg... La-Z-Boy (LZB) downgraded at BB&T... Legacy Reserves (LGCY) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at FBR Capital... Medivation (MDVN) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Canaccord... Merck (MRK) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill... Metaldyne Performance (MPG) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Baird... Pier 1 Imports (PIR) downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at KeyBanc... Priceline (PCLN) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman... Profire Energy (PFIE) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Chardan... Regeneron (REGN) downgraded to Hold at Canaccord... Starwood (HOT) downgraded to Underperform from Outperform at CLSA... Swiss Re (SSREY) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley... TSYS (TSS) downgraded to Equal-Weight from Overweight at First Analysis... Talmer Bancorp (TLMR) downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital... TopBuild (BLD) downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at KeyBanc... TripAdvisor (TRIP) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman... VMware (VMW) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Summit Research... W.R. Grace (GRA) downgraded to Buy from Conviction Buy at Goldman... WEC Energy (WEC) downgraded to Neutral from Conviction Buy at Goldman... Welltower (HCN) downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital... Yamana Gold (AUY) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.
09:32 EDTMRKActive equity options trading on open
Active equity options trading on open: AAPL FB AMZN AAL BAC PCLN NFLX MRK GOOG
08:36 EDTMRKMerck downgraded to Neutral on lack of catalysts at BofA/Merrill
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08:31 EDTMRKMerck says FDA accepts for review BLA for investigational antitoxin
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08:29 EDTMRKMerck downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill
January 26, 2016
18:37 EDTVRXPershing Square says not selling Valeant a 'very costly mistake'
In its Annual Investor Letter, Pershing Square said, in part, that not selling Valeant (VRX) was a "very costly mistake." It also noted that not trimming its Canadian Pacific (CP) stake was a "similar error," and that they paid too much for additional stock in Platform Specialty Products (PAH). Reference Link
January 25, 2016
16:14 EDTVRXOn The Fly: Top stock stories for Monday
Stocks began the session in negative territory and remained there throughout the day. The market has yet to de-couple from oil prices, as stocks continue to move in the direction of the commodity. The averages almost made it back to positive ground in the early afternoon, but with oil down more than 4% the sellers emerged and pushed the market toward session lows. The market continued to lose ground as oil fell further, giving up nearly 6% by the close on the New York Mercantile Exchange, bringing stocks' two day win streak to an end. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the economic calendar was light. The Dallas Fed manufacturing survey, the lone report of note, came in at -34.6, below the revised prior reading of -21.6 and short of the consensus -14.5 forecast. West Texas Intermediate for March delivery fell $1.85, or 5.8%, to close at $30.34 a barrel on the NYMEX. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of McDonald's (MCD) advanced 0.7% to $119.20 after the fast food giant reported better than expected earnings and comparable sales growth for the fourth quarter, powered by the launch of All Day Breakfast in the U.S... Twitter (TWTR) fell 4.6% to $17.02 after CEO Jack Dorsey confirmed on Sunday night the departure of four company executives, leading research firm Stifel to downgrade the shares... Tyco (TYC) jumped 11.6% to $34.15 after reaching a merger agreement with Johnson Controls (JCI) which will see Johnson shareholders owning 56% of the combined company's equity. Johnson Controls fell 3.9% to $34.21 following the merger announcement. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Valeant (VRX), which rose 4.55% to $92.63 after hospitalized CEO Michael Pearson said he is "on the road to recovery" after a bout of pneumonia. The news was followed by announcements that Valeant has sold three of its skincare brands and received FDA acceptance of its biologics license application for psoriasis drug Brodalumab. Also higher was SunEdison (SUNE), which advanced 2.6% to $2.72 after the Wall Street Journal reported that the company is set to give David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital a seat on its board. Meanwhile, energy savings firm EnerNOC (ENOC) jumped 69.5% to $7.05 after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of FERC's so-called "demand response" rule, sending energy generators Dynegy (DYN) and Talen Energy (TLN) down a respective 11.6% and 6.2%. Among the noteworthy losers was OncoMed (OMED), which plunged 42.9% to $10.04 after its Phase 2 trial of tarextumab in pancreatic cancer showed futility in an interim analysis. Also lower were containerboard and paper makers KapStone (KS), WestRock (WRK) and Packaging Corp (PKG), which dropped about 21%, 15% and 13%, respectively, after an industry publication reported that prices in the sector had declined. Additionally, Caterpillar (CAT) was the Dow's biggest decliner Monday, sinking 5% to $57.90 after being downgraded to Sell at Goldman Sachs. INDEXES: The Dow fell 208.29, or 1.29%, to 15,885.22, the Nasdaq lost 72.69, or 1.58%, to 4,518.49, and the S&P 500 declined 29.82, or 1.56%, to 1,877.08.
11:30 EDTVRXINTEGA buys three medical skincare brands from Valeant Canada
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09:03 EDTMRKOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
HIGHER: Tyco (TYC) and Johnson Controls (JCI), up 9% and 1%, respectively, after announcing a definitive merger agreement. Johnson Controls shareholders will own approximately 56% of the equity of the combined company, while current Tyco shareholders will own approximately 44%... SunEdison (SUNE), up 10% after the Wall Street Journal reported that the company is set to give David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital a seat on its board... Affimed Therapeutics (AFMD), up 26% after entering a clinical research collaboration in immuno-oncology with Merck (MRK). UP AFTER EARNINGS: McDonald's (MCD), up 3%... LOWER: Twitter (TWTR), down 5% after its CEO Jack Dorsey confirmed in a tweet last night that several executives are departing the company. Media reports also indicate that, as part of its shake-up, Twitter intends to bring in two new members to its board as soon as this week... OncoMed (OMED), down 38% after an independent data safety monitoring board remarked on several findings regarding futility of the company's Phase 2 ALPINE clinical trial... Medivation (MDVN), down 7% after FDA places investigational new drug application for MDV9300 on partial clinical hold... International Paper (IP), down 4.8%, Packaging Corp. (PKG), down 4.8%, WestRock (WRK), down 6%, after Pulp & Paper Week reduced January kraftliner and corrugated medium prices... Caterpillar (CAT), down 4% after Goldman cuts rating to sell... Regeneron (REGN), down 3% after downgraded at Chardan to sell. DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: Kimberly-Clark (KMB), down 2.5%.
08:12 EDTVRXValeant announces FDA acceptance of BLA submission for Brodalumab
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07:12 EDTVRXValeant releases memo for employees from Michael Pearson
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05:19 EDTMRKAffimed Therapeutics enters into collaboration with Merck
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