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Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Mixed; Merck To Buy Cubist Pharmaceuticals For $102/Share

Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Mixed; Merck To Buy Cubist Pharmaceuticals For $102/Share

Following the market opening Monday, the Dow traded down 0.06 percent to 17,947.62 while the NASDAQ surged 0.12 percent to 4,786.52. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.08 percent to 2,073.71.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Healthcare shares gained around 0.52 percent in Monday’s trading. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Cubist Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: CBST), up 35.5 percent, and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ALNY), up 6.5 percent.

In trading on Monday, energy shares were relative laggards, down on the day by about 1.95 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Breitburn Energy Partners L.P. (NASDAQ: BBEP), down 9 percent, and SandRidge Permian Trust (NYSE: PER), off 9.7 percent.

Top Headline

Merck (NYSE: MRK) announced its plans to buy Cubist Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: CBST) in a transaction with a total value of roughly $9.5 billion.

Merck will pay $102 per share for Cubist, representing a 37% premium to its closing price of $74.36 on Friday.

Equities Trading UP

Cubist Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: CBST) shares shot up 35.50 percent to $100.75 after Merck (NYSE: MRK) announced its plans to acquire Cubist for $102 per share in cash.

Shares of Acceleron Pharma (NASDAQ: XLRN) got a boost, shooting up 14.20 percent to $42.89. Celgene (NASDAQ: CELG) and Acceleron announced new data from Luspatercept Phase 2 clinical trial in beta-thalassemia.

Agios Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AGIO) shares were also up, gaining 4.73 percent to $111.03 after the company reported Celgene decision to extend discovery phase of global strategic collaboration to April 2016. The company also announced positive data from ongoing Phase 1 trial of AG-221 at ASH Annual Meeting.

Equities Trading DOWN

TASER International (NASDAQ: TASR) shares tumbled 5.20 percent to $23.53 after Ladenburg Thalmann downgraded the stock from Buy to Neutral.

Shares of Liquidity Services (NASDAQ: LQDT) were down 24.66 percent to $7.73. Liquidity Services reported that it has received a two-month contract extension for U.S. Department of Defense surplus property sales.

ClubCorp Holdings (NYSE: MYCC) was down, falling 9.84 percent to $17.95. The company reported that REIT conversion is not a viable option today. ClubCorp issued a strong FY15 sales outlook.


In commodity news, oil traded down 1.75 percent to $64.69, while gold traded up 0.55 percent to $1,197.00.

Silver traded up 0.35 percent Monday to $16.32, while copper fell 0.02 percent to $2.90.


European shares were lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 fell 0.46 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index slipped 0.67 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index declined 0.36 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX dropped 0.51 percent and the French CAC 40 tumbled 0.76 percent while UK shares slipped 0.83 percent.


The Treasury is set to auction 3-and 6-month bills.


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