Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Actavis Acquisition of Forest Labs Dominates Headlines as Markets Remain Mixed
Toward the end of trading Tuesday, the Dow traded down 0.04 percent to 16,146.86 while the NASDAQ gained 0.77 percent to 4,276.24. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.21 percent to 1,842.49.
Leading and Lagging Sectors
Tuesday morning, the healthcare sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Healthcare stocks surged 1% in today's trading. Leading the sector was strength from Forest Laboratories (NYSE: FRX) and Chindex International (NASDAQ: CHDX) on acquisition news. In trading on Tuesday, non-cyclical consumer goods & services shares were relative laggards, down on the day by 0.07%.
Top decliners in the sector included Fresh Del Monte Produce (NYSE: FDP), off 5.31%, and Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO), down 3.79%. Shares of Fresh Del Monte tumbled after the company reported weak quarterly earnings.
Coca-Cola Co (NYSE: KO) reported a drop in its fourth-quarter net profit. Coca-Cola's quarterly profit declined to $1.71 billion, or $0.38 per share, versus a year-ago profit of $1.87 billion, or $0.41 per share. Its adjusted -profit came in at $0.46 per share. Its revenue slipped to $11.04 billion versus $11.46 billion. However, analysts were projecting earnings of $0.46 per share on revenue of $11.31 billion.
Equities Trading UP
Forest Laboratories (NYSE: FRX) shot up 28.50 percent to $91.74 after Actavis (NYSE: ACT) announced its plans to buy Forest Labs for $25 billion. Analysts at Morgan Stanley upgraded Forest Labs from Equal-Weight to Overweight.
Shares of BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY) got a boost, shooting up 6.43 percent to $9.56 on report of Loeb 10 million share stake. FBR Capital upgraded BlackBerry from Underperform to Market Perform.
Ubiquiti Networks (NASDAQ: UBNT) was also on the rise, gaining 9.94 percent to $49.86 after the company beat on earnings and increased its guidance before the open Tuesday.
Equities Trading DOWN
Shares of Fresh Del Monte Produce (NYSE: FDP) were down 4.86 percent to $25.45 after the company reported downbeat quarterly earnings.
Dresser-Rand Group (NYSE: DRC) was also down, falling 8.04 percent to $53.98 after announcing it would suspend operations at its pig manure treatment plant.
In commodity news, oil traded up 2.17 percent to $102.30, while gold traded up 0.34 percent to $1,323.00.
Silver traded up 0.94 percent Tuesday to $21.90, while copper rose 0.61 percent to $3.29.
European shares were mixed today.
The Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.73 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index rose 0.05 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX gained 0.08 percent and the French CAC 40 tumbled 0.10 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.91 percent.
The Empire State manufacturing index fell to 4.48 in February, versus a prior reading of 12.51. However, economists were expecting a reading of 8.50.
The NAHB housing market index declined to 46.00 in February, from a prior reading of 56.00. However, economists were projecting a reading of 56.00.
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