Healthcare Stocks Holding On to Small Gains; Analyst Douses Medtronic, Smith & Nephew Link-Up Talk

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Healthcare stocks were posting narrow gains today with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index adding about 0.3% and shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 rising about 0.1% as a group.

In company news, Shares of Smith and Nephew ( SNN ) and Medtronic ( MDT ) both fell Thursday after a Wells Fargo analyst today threw cold water on market speculation the medical device companies are considering a possible merger.

In a new research note, Wells Fargo analyst Larry Biegelsen wrote MDT is unlikely to enter a new market unless it believes it can become a top player in that field, explaining SNN's hip and knee business is not large enough to make MDT a market leader. Biegelsen also said MDT does not appear eager to pursue a deal in order to take advantage of reduced corporate taxes in the UK compared to the United States.

SNN shares were off nearly 6% at $91.55 each, giving back about half of its 12% gain over the three previous sessions this week. MDT also was down, slipping about 1.7% at $62.13 a share in recent trade.

In other sector news,

(+) HALO, FDA removes clinical hold on patient enrollment and dosing in a Phase II study of its PEGPH20 drug candidate in patients with pancreatic cancer, allowing the trial to resume under a revised protocol.

(-) NVAX, Discloses plans for a $100 mln underwritten offering of its common stock. The company also intends to issue options to underwriters to buy up to 15 mln additional shares to cover possible overallotments.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: SNN , MDT

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