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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
January 2, 2013
12:46 EDTLNKD, ZIP, UNH, SKUL, CAT, JNJ, CAR, HPQ, MRKOn 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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April 8, 2015
07:33 EDTMRKAdvaxis, Merck begin enrollment in Phase 1/2 of ADJX-PSA with Keytruda
Advaxis (ADXS) and Merck (MRK) announced that enrollment has initiated in the Phase 1/2 clinical trial evaluating the combination of ADXS-PSA, an investigational Lm-LLO immunotherapy, and Keytruda, the first anti-PD-1 therapy approved in the United States, in patients with previously treated, metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, or mCRPC. The clinical trial, KEYNOTE-046, is the first-in-human study of Advaxis's lead Lm-LLO immunotherapy candidate for prostate cancer. It is the second study initiated to evaluate the use of KEYTRUDA in the treatment of advanced prostate cancer. ADXS-PSA and KEYTRUDA are members of a class of cancer treatments known as immuno-oncology therapies. Data from preclinical studies suggest that Advaxis Lm-LLO immunotherapies in combination with a PD-1 antibody may lead to an enhanced anti-tumor immune response. The results from KEYNOTE-046 will determine the future clinical development program for the combination.
07:24 EDTJNJNeurotechnology Industry Organization to hold a conference
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07:04 EDTMRKMerck's investigational Hep C therapy granted breakthrough therapy designations
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05:55 EDTLNKDStocks with implied volatility above IV index mean; LNKD AMZN
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April 7, 2015
16:55 EDTHPQXerox upgraded to Buy ahead of Q1 results at Citigroup
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10:23 EDTUNHMedicare Advantage 2016 rates set above expectations
The U.S. yesterday announced higher than expected 2016 Medicare Advantage reimbursement rates. The news is seen as benefiting managed care companies with large exposure to the Medicare Advantage program. WHAT'S NEW: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, yesterday afternoon announced that Medicare Advantage reimbursement rates would rise 1.25% in 2016 from 2015 levels. In February, CMS proposed a 0.95% reduction in Medicare Advantage reimbursement rates for 2016. This year, reimbursement rates have fallen 4%. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Humana (HUM) said this morning in a regulatory filing that based on its review of the Final Rate Notice, the company expects an average Medicare Advantage funding increase for its business of approximately 0.8% from CMS for 2016, versus a funding decline of 1.25%-1.75% previously expected based on the Advance Notice. Humana’s estimated year-over-year funding increase as it affects the company is projected to be less than the CMS estimate for the MA program primarily due to Humana’s view of the projected impact associated with CMS’ 2016 adjustment to the risk model calculation, the company explained. ANALYST REACTION: In a note to investors earlier today, Deutsche Bank analyst Scott Fidel wrote that this is the first time in seven years that CMS has implemented an increase in Medicare Advantage rates. However, noting that CMS said it had raised its estimates for Medicare costs, Fidel added that this forecast tempered the positive outlook created by the reimbursement increase. The analyst kept Buy ratings on the following stocks in the sector: Aetna (AET), Anthem (ANTM), Cigna (CI), Magellan Health (MGLN), and UnitedHealth (UNH). Stifel analysts said that the results were modestly better than expected, except for the agency's decision not to make a Star rating adjustment for plans with certain higher acuity populations. The firm thinks that more diversified managed care companies with Medicare Advantage products could be boosted by CMS' decision, identifying Aetna, Humana, and UnitedHealth as being among the companies in that category. PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Aetna was little changed at $107.40, Anthem was flat near $155 per share, Cigna slipped 0.4% to $131.34, Magellan was flat at $71, UnitedHealth added 0.5% to $118.31 and Humana gained fractionally to $178.54.
07:57 EDTUNHManaged care companies likely to rise on CMS news, says Oppenheimer
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07:52 EDTHPQHP, Microsoft partnering on solutions for auto, financial services industries
HP (HPQ) announced it is partnering with Microsoft (MSFT) to deliver solutions for the automotive, public sector and financial services industries to help organizations deliver differentiated products and create new revenue through mobile, web and social channels. HP and Microsoft are building a portfolio of business process accelerators and are delivering them as Business Process as-a-Service solutions, HP stated. HP Business Process as-a-Service solutions for Microsoft Dynamics services are available immediately worldwide. Reference Link
07:44 EDTUNHSome managed care stocks could be boosted by CMS decision, says Stifel
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07:41 EDTUNH2016 MA rates positive for first time in seven years, says Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank notes that for the first time since 2009, Medicare Advantage rates will be positive after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced yesterday that final 2016 rates will rise by 1.25%, representing a 220 basis points favorable swing from the preliminary proposed cut of 0.95%. Deutsche says the positive surprise is "somewhat tempered" by the more cautious view on Medicare cost trends provided by the CMS actuaries in the final 2016 rate announcement. The firm expects Humana (HUM), Health Net (HNT) and UnitedHealth (UNH), Aetna (AET) and Anthem (ANTM) to experience Medicare Advantage rate increases.
07:14 EDTMRKEyeforpharma to hold a summit
Philadelphia 2015 Commercial Pharma Summit is being held in Philadelphia on April 7-8.
05:48 EDTUNHCatamaran downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies
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April 6, 2015
14:34 EDTJNJDepomed price target raised to $30 from $27 at Roth Capital
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13:12 EDTUNHCatamaran purchase expected to clear antitrust hurdles, CT Financial News says
Optum, a unit of UnitedHealth (UNH), is expected to face close scrutiny by regulators over its proposed acquisition of Catamaran (CTRX) and its pharmacy benefits management unit, but the deal is likely to be approved by regulators, CT Financial News reports, adding that the prospective deal could start a wave of consolidation among PBMs. Norm Smith, president and founder of health care research firm Viewpoint Consulting, believes the ultimate beneficiaries of the OptumRx/Catamaran deal will be consumers and health insurers. Reference Link
09:36 EDTJNJActive equity options trading on open
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07:57 EDTUNHLeerink healthcare services analyst holds analyst/industry conference call
Healthcare Services Analyst Gupte discusses the leverage Anthem likely has in its Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) contract with Express Scripts and how it changes after the Catamaran-Optum Rx deal, the synergy potential for the deal between Catamaran and Optum Rx and the likelihood of Cigna-HS remaining with the newly merged Optum Rx-CTRX on an Analyst/Industry conference call to be held on April 6 at 2 pm.
06:21 EDTJNJJohnson & Johnson CEO comments on Asia expansion, WSJ reports
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06:09 EDTLNKDStocks with implied volatility above IV index mean; CMG DDD
Stocks with implied volatility above IV index mean; LinkedIn (LNKD) 41, 3D Systems (DDD) 56 according to iVolatility.
April 5, 2015
09:06 EDTUNHUnitedHealth looks expensive, Barron's says
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08:43 EDTCATAT&T, Philip Morris, eight others have reliable yields up to 5.7%, Barron's says
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