Stocks are mixed to lower in mid-day trading on Chin's move to
tighten lending, while M&A action continues to dominate
headlines through the first part of the day--particularly among the
health care and consumer products sectors.
Also on the radar, the Federal Reserve's minutes from the
September meeting of the rate-setting Federal Open Market
Committee, which are due at 2 P.M EST. There are growing
expectations that Fed policy makers could move as early as November
to ramp up the quantitative-easing program.
Topping the M&A action, King Pharmaceuticals (
), a maker of pain drugs said it had agreed to be bought by Pfizer
) for $3.6 billion in cash, or $14.25 per share. The deals is
expected to be accretive to PFE's adjusted diluted EPS by
approximately $0.02 annually in 2011 and 2012, and approximately
$0.03 - $0.04 annually from 2013 through 2015.
Also in Pfizer news, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a Pfizer
appeal that leaves intact a ruling to let 123 women who developed
breast cancer sue in Minnesota state court, reports Bloomberg.
Pfizer sought in its appeal to reinstate a federal trial court
ruling that dismissed 116 of the plaintiffs because their claims
had duplicated others filed perviously.
In other M&A news, Avon Products Inc (
) is higher amid rumors that the comestics retailer may be bought
out by L'Oreal SA (OR). According to Britain's Daily Mail, L'Oreal
could offer $44 a share for the company, which marks a 33% premium
over Avon's closing price Monday, valuing the company around $19
billion. The daily also said that Avon is attracting interest from
other companies as well.
Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (
) is down on a possible deal with MGM that has the blessing of
investor Carl Icahn, who has been pursuing his own takeover of
Lions Gate. Lions Gate said the combined company would be owned by
its shareholders and by MGM's creditors, including Icahn. Terms
have not been disclosed, but the deal would give MGM's lenders 55%
of the company, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Meanwhile, Google (
) and Japanese trading firm Marubeni Corp. will form a joint
venture to develop an undersea power cable network along the U.S.
Eastern seaboard, according to MarketWatch and other news outlets,
citing a press release on Marubeni's web site. The joint venture
will include participation by Swiss investment fund, Good Energies
Investment Corp. The venture involves some $6 billion in funding
Ray Lane, Hewlett-Packard's (
) chairman-designate, said the new CEO of the technology giant Leo
Apotheker, is a principled leader and said that Mark Hurd, HP's
former CEO, showed a lack of integrity that led to his resignation,
reports Bloomberg, citing a public letter from Lane. "HP's Board
turned to a principled leader of outstanding personal and
professional integrity," Bloomberg quoted Lane as saying in his
letter. "Mr. Hurd violated the trust of the board by repeatedly
lying to them in the course of an investigation into his
) shares are higher on news it has stopped using a foreclosure law
firm in Florida that is being investigated by the state's attorney
general. The law offices of David J. Stern PA are coming under
scrutiny for allegedly using improper documentation to speed up the
process to seize homes.
) shares are higher on word the athletic apparel maker may become
the official apparel maker for the National Football League
starting in 2012, CNBC reported, citing sources. The agreement
would last for five years and be subject to owner approval, the
Apache Corp. (
) said it had completed a $3.25 billion deal to buy BP's (
) natural gas assets in western Canada, reports Reuters. The move
is part of a continued effort by BP to sell up to $30 billion in
assets to pay for costs related the damaged Gulf of Mexico well
that caused the worst oil spill in U.S. history.
GlaxoSmithKline plc (
) is down onconcerns that its ovarian cancer drug Hycamtin may be
toxic to bone marrow when added to initial chemotherapy treatment,
according to a study published in the Journal of the National
Cancer Institute. Separately, Glaxo is seen as one of four major
pharmaceutical companies bidding for India's Paras Pharmaceuticals,
according to the Business Standard. Initial bids were around $600
to $700 million, according to the report.
In earnings news, Intel (
) earnings are due after the closing bell today. Analysts polled by
Thomson Reuters are forecasting the chip-maker to come in with a
profit of $0.50 per share on revenue of $10.99 billion. The company
has beat with earnings over the last four quarters. Guidance will
be scrutinized for any details on how Intel plans to integrate the
recently purchased security software firm McAfee.
Commodities are lower as December gold contracts fell $5, or
0.38%, to $1,349 an ounce while November crude contacts are down
0.39%, or $0.33, at $81.88 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (
) is flat at $35.60 and the United States Natural Gas fund (
) is down 1.04% to $5.69.
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (
) is down 0.55% to $131.56. Market Vectors Gold Miners (
) is down 1.08% to $56.79. iShares Silver Trust (
) is down 0.53% to $22.66.