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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
January 2, 2013
12:46 EDTCAR, HPQ, MRK, LNKD, ZIP, UNH, SKUL, CAT, JNJOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were significantly higher at midday after U.S. lawmakers agreed on a deal to avoid some of the tax hikes associated with the fiscal cliff, but many of the issues remaining were simply pushed off by the last-second agreement. The stop-gap measure puts off the drastic spending cuts that were due to take effect, but it did not eliminate them, and it failed to raise the debt limit, meaning another political showdown is coming. The day’s economic data points went largely unnoticed as most investors breathed a sigh of relief and sent the averages soaring right at the opening bell... ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., Markit's final reading for December's purchasing managers' index came in at 54.0, which was up from 52.8 a month ago and beat expectations for a downward revision to 53.6. The ISM's December manufacturing PMI had a reading of 50.7, versus the expected 50.5, while the prices paid index came in at 55.5, versus the expected 50.8. A separate report showed construction spending fell 0.3% in November, versus an expected increase of 0.6%. In Europe, Markit's zone-wide PMI edged down to 46.1 in December, compared with its 46.3 preliminary reading and down from 46.2 in November... COMPANY NEWS: Every member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average was higher at midday, with only Merck (MRK), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and UnitedHealth (UNH) logging gains of less than 1%. Shares of Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and Caterpillar (CAT) paced the blue chip index, as each rose over 4%... Reflecting a trend similar to the one seen on the Dow, every S&P sector except for Healthcare was significantly higher... MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Zipcar (ZIP), which rose 48% following its agreement to be acquired for $12.25 per share in cash by Avis Budget (CAR), which also had its shares rise nearly 5%. Among the noteworthy losers were Skullcandy (SKUL), down 14% after Jefferies downgraded the stock to Underperform from Buy, and LinkedIn (LNKD) which fell almost 4% after being downgraded to Equal Weight at Barclays... INDICES: Near 12:30 pm ET, the Dow was up 224.78, or 1.72%, to 13,328.92; the Nasdaq was up 67.24, or 2.23%, to 3,086.75; and the S&P 500 was up 24.81, or 1.74%, to 1,451.00.
News For MRK;JNJ;UNH;HPQ;CAT;ZIP;CAR;SKUL;LNKD From The Last 14 Days
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June 17, 2015
08:03 EDTMRKMerck Keytruda granted FDA orphan designation as gastric cancer treatment
The FDA granted Merck, Sharp & Dohme, a subsidiary of Merck, orphan status for Keytruda as a treatment of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma. Reference Link
07:48 EDTUNHHealth insurers seen consolidating from five to three in 'megadeals,' WSJ says
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07:42 EDTUNHAetna price target raised to $145 from $135 at Leerink
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07:27 EDTUNHUnitedHealth growth set to accelerate, says Wells Fargo
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07:21 EDTJNJGeneric ADHD drugs still sold despite FDA non-equivalance finding, NYT reports
The FDA announced last November that two generic versions of Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) Concerta ADHD drug, one made by Mallinckrodt (MNK) and the other by UCB, could no longer be considered the equivalent of the branded drug after tests and analyses suggested that their effectiveness began to wear off much more quickly, but the drugs are still being sold despite an FDA mandated deadline having passed for the companies to either prove the drugs were equivalent or remove them from the market, said The New York Times. The report noted a third generic product, sold by Actavis (AGN), was found to be equivalent to the branded Concerta. Reference Link
05:31 EDTMRKMerck initiated with a Neutral at Piper Jaffray
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June 16, 2015
12:58 EDTUNHVolatility spiked for providers of health insurance following takeover reports
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11:08 EDTUNHUnitedHealth has information advantage over peers, says Piper Jaffray
Piper Jaffray analyst Sean Wieland writes that regardless of potential consolidation in the industry, UnitedHealth (UNH), following its acquisition of Optum, has an information advantage that could be years ahead of the other payors. Wieland says UnitedHealth's reported offer to acquire Aetna (AET) for $40B looks understated compared to Anthem's (ANTM) rejected $45B bid for Cigna (CI). He reiterates an Overweight rating on UnitedHealth with a $149 price target.
10:18 EDTUNHOptions with increasing implied volatility
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10:07 EDTMRKAlkermes spike attributed to takeover speculation
The spike higher in shares of Alkermes (ALKS) is being attributed by traders to speculation of a takeover. Shares jumped 6% to $61.89 in morning trading. The Ireland based drugmaker focuses on treatments of central nervous system disorders, such as addiction, schizophrenia and depression. The speculative chatter has Merck (MRK) as a potential acquirer of Alkermes. The company’s June 60 and 65 calls are actively trading, according to The Fly's options specialist.
05:53 EDTUNHAetna approached by UnitedHealth about merger, WSJ reports
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June 15, 2015
16:21 EDTUNHOn The Fly: Top stock stories for Monday
Stocks opened deep in negative territory after Greece failed to reach a bailout compromise over the weekend. The averages saw their lows shortly after the open and then began to rebuild and pared their losses. The averages found a level near noon, then drifted into the close with investors looking forward to the two day FOMC meeting that begins tomorrow. The committee's announcement Wednesday afternoon is sure to be the week's most closely watched event among investors. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., industrial production declined 0.2% in May, versus expectations for a 0.2% increase in production, sending capacity utilization in the month down to 78.1%, versus expectations for 78.3% utilization. The Empire manufacturing index, which measures manufacturing activity in New York State, had a reading of -1.98 for June, versus expectations for a +6.0 reading. The NAHB homebuilder sentiment index jumped to 59 in June from 54 in May, which was above the expected increase to a reading of 56. In Europe, talks between Greece and its creditors appeared to go nowhere. The expiration of its bailout package and debt repayments due at the end of the month continue to move closer and concerns about a possible default that could trigger an exit from the euro are rising once again. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Target (TGT) advanced 98c, or 1.23%, to $80.45 after the retailer agreed to sell its pharmacy and clinic businesses to CVS Health (CVS) for approximately $1.9B. Under the terms of the deal, CVS will acquire Target's more than 1,660 pharmacies and operate them through a store-within-a-store format and a CVS/pharmacy will be included in all new Target stores that offer pharmacy services. CVS, which said it expects this transaction to generate significant sales and prescription volumes upon closing and to generate significant operating profit over the long term, rose 34c, or 0.33%, to $102.58 following the deal announcement... United Technologies (UTX) fell $2.99, or 2.54%, to $114.61 after announcing that it will pursue the separation of the Sikorsky Aircraft business. A decision on whether the helicopter maker will be spun off or sold is expected by the end of the third quarter, the Dow member added. In conjunction with the announcement, United Technologies also lowered its FY15 EPS view to $6.55-$6.85 from $6.85-$7.05, explaining that the cut in its expectations reflects one-time separation costs as well as a decline in Sikorsky's operational expectations for the year due to weakness in the oil and gas markets. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Cigna (CI), which jumped $16.19, or 11.79%, to $153.50 after The Wall Street Journal was reportedly told by a source that the company and Anthem (ANTM) have been in deal talks for months and Anthem's most recent takeover bid of $175 per share was turned down by its peer. A prior report from the Journal indicated that Humana (HUM) has hired Goldman Sachs to explore strategic alternatives and had held sale talks with companies including Cigna and Aetna (AET). This new report also noted that the largest health insurer by market cap and revenue, UnitedHealth Group (UNH), is "eyeing" Cigna and Aetna. Among the noteworthy losers was Micron (MU), which dropped 89c, or 3.56%, to $24.24 after Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock to Underweight, becoming the second firm in the last week to cut the stock to a sell or equivalent rating. Also lower were shares of SanDisk (SNDK), which fell $1.96, or 2.97%, to $64.14 after the same Morgan Stanley analyst, Joseph Moore, downgraded the stock to Equal Weight from Overweight and lowered his price target on shares to $75 from $80. INDEXES: The Dow fell 107.67, or 0.6%, to 17,791.17, the Nasdaq lost 21.13, or 0.42%, to 5,029.97, and the S&P 500 dropped 9.68, or 0.46%, to 2,084.43.
14:34 EDTUNHAetna calls active on UnitedHealth said to be eyeing
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14:21 EDTUNHUnitedHealth calls active on said to be eyeing Cigna and Aetna
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14:08 EDTUNHUnitedHealth eyeing potential deal for Aetna, Cigna, DJ reports
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11:15 EDTJNJIdera advances after JPMorgan starts coverage with $6 target
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09:19 EDTJNJBiotech Industry Organization to hold a conference
BIO 2015 is being held in Philadelphia on June 15-18.
08:40 EDTHPQCommScope announces partnership with Hewlett-Packard
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07:19 EDTJNJGeron discloses orphan designation for its imetelstat for myelofibrosis
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06:07 EDTLNKDStocks with implied volatility below IV index mean; KORS LNKD
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