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Market Overview

Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Dow Slides Over 100 Points; Oil Futures Down 4%

Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Dow Slides Over 100 Points; Oil Futures Down 4%

Toward the end of trading Monday, the Dow traded down 0.60 percent to 17,851.97 while the NASDAQ dipped 0.87 percent to 4,739.07. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.73 percent to 2,060.18.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Healthcare shares gained around 0.17 percent in Monday’s trading. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Cubist Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: CBST), up 35.4 percent, and Isis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ISIS), up 9.9 percent.

In trading on Monday, energy shares were relative laggards, down on the day by about 4.13 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Legacy Reserves LP (NASDAQ: LGCY), down 18.5 percent, and Niska Gas Storage Partners LLC (NYSE: NKA), off 19.3 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 35.40 percent to $100.68 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 18.30 percent to $44.43. Celgene (NASDAQ: CELG) and Acceleron announced new data from Luspatercept Phase 2 clinical trial in beta-thalassemia.

Isis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ISIS) shares were also up, gaining 9.15 percent to $57.59 as the company reported positive phase 2 results from its study of ISIS-FXIRx. Stifel Nicolaus raised the price target on the stock from $55 to $65.

Equities Trading DOWN

TASER International (NASDAQ: TASR) shares tumbled 7.74 percent to $22.90 after Ladenburg Thalmann downgraded the stock from Buy to Neutral.

Shares of Digital River (NASDAQ: DRIV) were down 23.83 percent to $19.43 as the company filed an 8-K granting Microsoft an extension to decide whether or not to extend a key agreement between the two companies.

McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) was down, falling 4.04 percent to $92.42 on weak November sales. McDonald's reported its global-comparable-store sales fell 2.2% in November


In commodity news, oil traded down 4.21 percent to $63.07, while gold traded up 1.22 percent to $1,204.90.

Silver traded up 0.47 percent Monday to $16.34, while copper fell 0.62 percent to $2.88.


European shares closed lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 fell 0.67 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index slipped 0.88 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index declined 0.68 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX dropped 0.72 percent and the French CAC 40 tumbled 1 percent while UK shares slipped 1.05 percent.


On the economics calendar Monday, there is no important data due out.


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