Market Overview

Mid-Afternoon Market Update: US Stocks Gain; Markit Shares Surge

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Toward the end of trading Monday, the Dow traded up 0.24 percent to 17,643.73 while the NASDAQ climbed 0.35 percent to 4,812.29. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.18 percent to 2,053.31.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

On Monday, healthcare shares rose by 0.59 percent. Top gainers in the sector included Sarepta Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: SRPT), Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE: VRX), and ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ACAD).

In trading on Monday, energy shares dipped by 0.65 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Teekay Offshore Partners L.P. (NYSE: TOO), down 9 percent, and Basic Energy Services, Inc (NYSE: BAS), down 8 percent.

Top Headline

Sherwin-Williams Co (NYSE: SHW) agreed to acquire Valspar for an enterprise value of around $11.3 billion.

Sherwin-Williams will pay $113 per share to buy Valspar.

Equities Trading UP

Markit Ltd (NASDAQ: MRKT) shares shot up 12 percent to $32.98 as IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS) agreed to buy Markit.

Shares of The Valspar Corp (NYSE: VAL) got a boost, shooting up 24 percent to $103.96 after Sherwin-Williams agreed to acquire Valspar for $113 per share.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE: VRX) shares were also up, gaining 9 percent to $29.31 as the company announced a search for a new CEO, Bill Ackman as a new member of the board and other internal matters such as the 10-K filing delay. Katharine B. Stevenson stepped down from the board to make a place for Pershing Square's Bill Ackman. In addition to this move, the board made a request for Howard Schiller, former CFO, to resign; however, that has not happened at this time.

Equities Trading DOWN

CombiMatrix Corp (NASDAQ: CBMX) shares dropped 18 percent to $4.40 as the company priced $8.0 million underwritten public offering.

Shares of Affymetrix, Inc. (NASDAQ: AFFX) were down 10 percent to $14.45. Affymetrix executives, announced Friday, that it submitted a proposal to acquire Affymetrix, Inc. for $16.10 per share in cash. The transaction is valued at approximately $1.5 billion. However, Affymetrix announced Sunday, that it was rejecting the Origin offer in the belief that this newly formed entity would be unable to close the deal.

Trinseo S.A. (NYSE: TSE) was down, falling around 6 percent to $35.79 as the company reported a 9.6 million share offering by selling shareholders.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded up 1.72 percent to $40.12, while gold traded down 0.73 percent to $1,245.20.

Silver traded up 0.37 percent Monday to $15.87, while copper rose 0.39 percent to $2.29.

Eurozone

European shares closed mostly lower today. The eurozone's STOXX 600 dropped 0.26 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.33 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index surged 0.46 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX declined 0.02 percent, and the French CAC 40 declined 0.78 percent, while U.K. shares fell 0.08 percent.

Economics

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index slipped to -0.29 in February, versus a prior reading of 0.41.

US existing-home sales declined 7.1 percent to an annual rate of 5.08 million in February, the National Association of Realtors reported. However, economists were expecting a rate of 5.34 million.

 

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