Healthcare Stocks Still Struggling To Break Though to Positive Ground; Luna Innovations Soars After Deal


Top Healthcare Stocks

JNJ +0.29%

PFE +0.13%

ABT -3.32%

MRK -1.02%

AMGN +3.78%

Healthcare stocks are lower, with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index falling about 0.3% and shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 sliding less than 0.1% as a group.

In company news, Luna Innovations ( LUNA ) shares more than doubled in price, reaching a four-year high after announcing a deal to sell its shape-sensing technology for use in medical applications to Intuitive Surgical ( ISRG ).

The deal calls for ISRG to acquire LUNA's fiber optic shape-sensing and localization technology, including its related patents, as well as hiring a number of engineering employees who worked for the unit. In exchange, LUNA will receive $12 million through a pair of upfront payments and up to $18 million more as ISRG, the maker of the DaVinci robotic surgery tools, reaches certain technical and commercial milestones.

In addition to its healthcare application, LUNA develops and manufactures new-generation products for the telecommunications, aerospace, automotive, energy and defense industries.

Trading in LUNA shares were briefly halted soon after the opening bell when the stock's rapid price rise triggered stock exchange circuit breakers. Shares recently were trading at $2.68 apiece, up 103%, after earlier streaking to $3.26 a share for the first time since June 2010.

ISRG was down about 0.8% at $435.92 a share in mid-afternoon trading.

In other sector news,

(+) EVOK, (+21.5%) Presents positive data from Phase IIb testing of its Metoclopramide nasal spray for Gastroparesis in patients with diabetes.

(-) KERX, (-5.4%) Launches $90 million public offering of its common stock. Proceeds will be used for pre-launch activities and inventory build-up for its Zerenex medication to treat hyperphosphatemia in patients with End-Stage Renal Disease.

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.

Copyright (C) 2014 All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: ISRG , LUNA

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