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Market Overview

Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Higher; Roche To Acquire Spark Therapeutics For $114.50/Share


Following the market opening Monday, the Dow traded up 0.65 percent to 26,202.31 while the NASDAQ climbed 0.9 percent to 7,595.47. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.6 percent to 2,809.27.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Monday morning, the financial shares rose 1.2 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included PPDAI Group Inc - ADR (NYSE: PPDF) up 16 percent, and Yirendai Ltd - ADR (NYSE: YRD) up 12 percent.

In trading on Monday, real estate shares fell 0.6 percent.

Top Headline

Swiss pharma giant Roche Holdings AG Basel ADR (OTC: RHHBY) announced early Monday a deal to buy U.S.-based gene therapy company Spark Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: ONCE) for $114.50 per share in cash, or a total equity value of $4.8 billion, including about $500 million of net cash expected at close.

The per share value representsa 122.07-percent premium over Spark's Friday closing price of $51.56.


Equities Trading UP

Spark Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: ONCE) shares got a boost, shooting up 121 percent to $113.69 after Roche Holdings AG (OTC: RHHBY) announced plans to acquire the company for $114.50 per share in cash.

Shares of Clementia Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: CMTA) shot up 74 percent to $25.97 after French company Ipsen announced plans to acquire the company in a transaction worth up to $1.31 billion.

Uniqure NV (NASDAQ: QURE) shares were also up, gaining 32 percent to $55.00. Cantor Fitzgerald maintained uniQure with an Overweight and raised the price target from $68 to $81. Shares of gene therapy companies are trading higher after Roche announced it would acquire Spark Therapeutics for $114.50 per share in cash.

Equities Trading DOWN

Achieve Life Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: ACHV) shares dropped 19 percent to $2.66 after rising 82.32 percent on Friday.

Shares of McDermott International, Inc. (NYSE: MDR) were down 8 percent to $7.11 after reporting downbeat Q4 results.

Cronos Group Inc (NASDAQ: CRON) was down, falling around 7 percent to $20.44. Analysts at Jefferies initiated coverage on Cronos with an Underperform rating.


In commodity news, oil traded down 1.7 percent to $56.28 while gold traded up 0.1 percent to $1,333.80.

Silver traded up 0.1 percent Monday to $16.02, while copper rose 0.4 percent to $2.9585.



European shares were higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 rose 0.4 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.3 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index climbed 1.1 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX gained 0.7 percent, and the French CAC 40 rose 0.5 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.1 percent.


The Chicago Fed National Activity Index declined to to a reading of -0.43 in January, compared to a reading of +0.05 in December.

U.S. wholesale inventories rose 1.1 percent for December, versus economists’ expectations for a 0.3 percent increase.

The Dallas Fed manufacturing index for February is schedule for release at 10:30 a.m. ET.

The Treasury is set to auction 6-month bills and 2-year notes at 11:30 a.m. ET.

The Treasury will auction 3-month bills and 5-year notes at 1:00 p.m. ET.


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Posted-In: Mid-Morning Market UpdateNews Eurozone Commodities Global Pre-Market Outlook Markets

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