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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
June 9, 2014
12:42 EDTERIC, NSR, DG, FDO, PF, PPC, TSN, HSH, GILD, ACHN, MRK, IDIXOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were higher at midday, pushing the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average toward new milestone levels. The market began the session just slightly below the flat-line, but within minutes had moved into positive territory where it has remained all morning. The averages have moved in a very narrow range, but the slow drift higher has the Dow within striking distance of 17,000 and the S&P edging closer to 2,000. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., no significant economic data was reported. In Asia, data released over the weekend showed that China's trade surplus widened in May to $35.92B, as the nation's exports accelerated more than forecast and imports fell more than expected. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of several companies that have developed hepatitis C, or HCV, treatments were active after one such company, Idenix (IDIX), agreed to be acquired by pharmaceutical giant Merck (MRK) for $24.50 per share in cash. The purchase price is more than triple the company's closing price on Friday and Idenix shares rose more than 230% to trade near $24.09 after the announcement. Shares of Achillion Pharmaceuticals (ACHN), which has developed its own HCV drugs, were up 40% as investors speculate it could be the next takeover target in the space, while shares of Gilead (GILD) fell about 4% after an analyst wrote that Merck bought Idenix partly to strengthen its hand in patent litigation against Gilead... Food processor and distributor Hillshire Brands (HSH) advanced another 5% after Tyson Foods (TSN) increased its offer to acquire the company to $63 per share, prompting rival Pilgrim's Pride (PPC) to withdraw its own takeover proposal. However, Tyson's new offer is still subject to Hillshire being released from its existing agreement to acquire Pinnacle Foods (PF) and Hillshire said it does not have the right to break its merger pact with Pinnacle on the basis of the Tyson offer or enter into an agreement with Tyson prior to the termination. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Family Dollar (FDO), which climbed 14% after well-known activist investor Carl Icahn disclosed that he had obtained a significant stake in the company. Also higher were shares of peer Dollar General (DG), which gained nearly 10% after Icahn reportedly told Fox Business that he may push for a merger between the two dollar store operators. Among the noteworthy losers was Neustar (NSR), which dropped 7.5% after acknowledging a copy of a confidential email was posted in the FCC docket and made available to the public. Deutsche Bank noted that shares of NeuStar traded down just before the close on Friday after the posting, which suggested the North American Numbering Council has recommended selecting iConectiv, the Telcordia unit of Ericsson (ERIC), as the vendor for the Number Portability Administration Center in place of incumbent Neustar. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 31.57, or 0.19%, to 16,955.85, the Nasdaq was up 22.30, or 0.52%, to 4,343.70, and the S&P 500 was up 3.92, or 0.2%, to 1,953.36.
News For IDIX;MRK;ACHN;GILD;HSH;TSN;PPC;PF;FDO;DG;NSR;ERIC From The Last 14 Days
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September 4, 2014
07:21 EDTGILD, MRKMedidata can obtain major new platform customers, says Stifel
Noting that Medidata (MDSO) partners with Veeva, Stifel believes that a number of Veeva (VEEV) customers could become Medidata platform customers, especially if they already use Medidata for R&D and clinical trial solutions. The firm identifies Merck (MRK), Gilead (GILD), and Teva (TEVA) as companies that may become platform clients for Medidata. Stifel keeps a $55 price target and Buy rating on Medidata.
September 3, 2014
17:25 EDTMRKMerck management to meet with SunTrust
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16:01 EDTGILDOptions Update; September 3, 2014
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14:49 EDTFDOIchan exits Family Dollar position with $200M profit, Reuters says
Carl Icahn, who became Family Dollar's largest shareholder just this June, has now sold his entire stake for a profit of about $200M, according to Reuters, citing sources familiar with the matter. Reference Link
14:33 EDTFDOIcahn sold entire Family Dollar stake, Reuters says
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09:36 EDTGILDActive equity options trading on open
Active equity options trading on open according to Track Data: AAPL TSLA TWTR PBR C GILD NFLX FB BIDU
07:04 EDTERICEricsson announces strategic partnership with Guardtime
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05:57 EDTACHNStocks with implied volatility top IV index mean; FXE ACHN
Stocks with implied volatility top IV index mean; Euro Currency Trust (FXE) 7, Achillion (ACHN) 120 according to iVolatility.
05:51 EDTGILDStocks with implied volatility movement; GILD XLE
Stocks with implied volatility movement; Gilead (GILD) 36, Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) 14 according to iVolatility.
September 2, 2014
17:18 EDTACHNRA Capital Management reports 18.1% passive stake in Achillion
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16:25 EDTFDO, DGOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
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16:00 EDTGILDOptions Update; September 2, 2014
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12:09 EDTDG, FDOOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were mixed at midday, with the Nasdaq clinging to narrow gains and the Dow and S&P both down about 0.25%. Stocks began the session basically unchanged but turned mixed within minutes of the open. The volume has been light and the market has moved in a narrow range, continuing the type of pattern that was seen all of last week ahead of the holiday. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., Markit's final manufacturing PMI for August dipped slightly from the flash print of 58.0 to 57.9, but that was up from July's 55.8 reading. ISM's manufacturing index for August climbed to 59.0 from 57.1 in July, beating expectations. Construction spending bounced back 1.8% in July, beating expectations for it to have risen 1.0% after declining in the prior month. In Asia, HSBC's final manufacturing PMI for China edged down to 50.2 from the preliminary 50.3 August reading, which was already down from the 51.7 report in July. The Chinese government's official purchasing managers index came in at 51.1 for August, which was down from its 51.7 reading in July. In Europe, the Eurozone's final manufacturing PMI for August was revised down to 50.7 from 51.8 in the preliminary reading. COMPANY NEWS: Apple (AAPL) was in the headlines following a celebrity photo hack involving several of its iCloud accounts. Despite the negative publicity from those events, the stock gained nearly 1% after noted Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster raised his price target on the tech giant's shares to $120 from $105, citing the upcoming launch of new products and services. Another firm, Cantor, said in its own note to investors that it believes that Apple will have its most exciting product launches "in many years" over the next few months... In M&A news, Dollar General (DG) rose almost 1% after increasing its all-cash proposal to buy Family Dollar (FDO) to $80.00 per share and also increasing the number of stores that it would be willing to agree to divest to 1,500 if ordered by the FTC. Shares of Family Dollar, which previously rejected Dollar General's prior proposal on the basis of antitrust regulatory concerns, traded above the new offer price, while Dollar Tree (DLTR), which currently has a merger agreement deal in place with Family Dollar, also gained 1.5%. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers were two other companies involved in M&A, one which was a buyer and one which was bought. Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) advanced 12% after agreeing to acquire upscale peer Prestige Cruises for $3.03B, while Compuware (CPWR) rose over 12% after the company confirmed it agreed to be acquired by private equity investment firm Thoma Bravo in a transaction valued at approximately $2.5B. Among the noteworthy losers was Exelixis (EXEL), which plunged 53% after its phase 3 pivotal trial of cabozantinib in certain men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer did not meet its primary endpoint and the stock was downgraded by at least three Street research firms. Also lower was lease-to-own retailer CONN'S (CONN), which dropped 30% and was downgraded at Piper Jaffray after weakness in its credit operations prompted a Q2 earnings miss and caused the company to cut its fiscal year guidance. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 43.58, or 0.25%, to 17,054.87, the Nasdaq was up 2.97, or 0.06%, to 4,583.24, and the S&P 500 was down 4.83, or 0.24%, to 1,998.54.
09:41 EDTGILDActive equity options trading on open
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08:36 EDTDG, FDOFamily Dollar confirms receipt of revised unsolicited proposal from Dollar General
Family Dollar Stores (FDO) confirmed that it has received a revised, non-binding, unsolicited proposal from Dollar General (DG) to acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Family Dollar. Consistent with its fiduciary duties and subject to the terms of its existing merger agreement with Dollar Tree (DLTR), Family Dollarís Board of Directors, in consultation with its legal and financial advisors, will review and consider the revised proposal. The company's Board of Directors has not changed its recommendation in support of the merger with Dollar Tree. Family Dollar will have no further comment on Dollar Generalís proposal until the Board has completed its review.
07:28 EDTACHNAchillion price target raised to $15 from $11 at UBS
UBS raised its price target on Achillion to $15 from $11 citing a positive risk/reward from the expected release of viral data this fall. The firm believes the data will be positive and will be used as a catalyst to drive potential M&A interest and keeps its Buy rating on the stock.
06:21 EDTACHNStocks with implied volatility top IV index mean; CONN ACHN
Stocks with implied volatility top IV index mean; Conn's (CONN) 67, Achillion (ACHN) 111 according to iVolatility.
06:16 EDTDG, FDODollar General increases proposal to board of Family Dollar to $80 per share
Dollar General (DG) announced that it has sent an enhanced acquisition proposal to the board of Family Dollar Stores (FDO). Under the terms of the revised proposal, Dollar General would increase its all-cash proposal for all outstanding shares of Family Dollar to $80.00 per share. Dollar General also increased the number of stores that it would be willing to agree to divest to 1,500 if ordered by the FTC, as further evidence of its confidence in its ability to obtain antitrust approval, has agreed to pay a $500M reverse break-up fee to Family Dollar relating to antitrust matters. All other terms and conditions of the proposal remain unchanged. Dollar Generalís revised proposal provides Family Dollarís shareholders with approximately $640M of additional aggregate value over Dollar Treeís offer and represents a premium of 31.9 percent over the closing price of $60.66 for Family Dollar stock on the day prior to the Dollar Tree announcement. In addition, Dollar General has engaged additional counsel, Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, to independently review its antitrust work. The independent review validated Dollar Generalís analysis that the proposed transaction can be completed on the terms previously proposed.
06:04 EDTDG, FDODollar General to raise offer for Family Dollar to $80/share, CNBC reports
Dollar General (DG) is going to raise its all-cash bid for Family Dollar (FDO) to $80 per share or around $9.1B, CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin reports, citing sources. Dollar General is willing to sell up to 1,500 stores if required by the FTC under the new offer, Sorkin adds. Family Dollar has continued to recommend a merger with Dollar Tree (DLTR). Reference Link
06:01 EDTFDO, DGDollar General raises offer for Family Dollar to $80/share, CNBC reports
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