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 (
) and Medtronic (
) 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
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