What The Market's Reading: January 12
Golden Globes Spark More Than Just Fashion Controversy
Monday morning began with usual chatter about Golden Globe upsets and fashion faux-pas, but in an unusual twist, it seems traders also kept a close eye on the Hollywood awards show.
Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) proved that streaming services had successfully made the transition into TV show production when both companies received nods for their original programming.
"Orange Is The New Black" and "House of Cards," both by Netflix, received several nominations while Amazon's "Transparent" won a best TV comedy award. The news has also pitted Amazon against Netflix, as the two battle for the upper-hand in the streaming service market.
Health Care Shake-Ups Persist
With cheap debt encouraging health care companies to reposition themselves within the market, mergers and acquisitions look set to continue through 2015. After 2014's failed acquisition attempt by AbbVie Inc. (NYSE: ABBV), Shire PLC (NASDAQ: SHPG) is putting its $1.6 billion break up fee toward a $5.2 billion deal to acquire NPS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: NPSP).
Roche Holding AG is also looking to expand its product pipeline by partnering with Foundation Medicine Inc. (NASDAQ: FMI) for access to the company's development of cancer diagnostic tests. Roche plans to pay $1.03 billion for a 56 percent stake in the company, which will allow the two to collaborate on cancer treatment research.
Detroit Auto Show Pits GM Against Tesla
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA)'s outspoken CEO Elon Musk may be eating his words at this week's auto show, as General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) steps up to the plate with a new electric car offering that will directly compete with Tesla's own model.
Musk, set to speak in Detroit on Tuesday, has long criticized traditional automakers for their lack of innovation in the electric car market. However, this year, GM is responding by unveiling its Chevrolet Bolt at the show on Monday.
The car is set to retail for $30,000 in 2017, and will be able to drive 200 miles on a singe charge. The vehicle will be direct competition for Tesla's Model 3, also due out in 2017.
Oil Prices Making Earnings Season More Interesting
This week kicks off earnings season on Wall Street, but falling crude prices will push companies to answer difficult questions about how they plan to proceed in a volatile market. Big energy companies like Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM) are relatively well-diversified, but smaller shale oil producers like Quicksilver Resources Inc (NYSE: KWK) will have to explain how they're going to manage their ballooning debt.
Sectors directly linked to oil won't be the only ones who have to answer to investors who are nervous about crude's slide; airline companies, automakers and utilities will also be in the "hot seat."
Most expect fourth quarter earnings reports to be lackluster, as a stronger dollar and deteriorating fuel prices pinch profit growth for many companies.
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