Stocks are holding most gains at mid-day after a strong start
this morning saw the three major indexes top 1%, as investors
largely shrugged off weak manufacturing data and opted to focus on
deal news led by Google's (
) acquisition of Motorola Mobility Holdings (
). Commodities, led by a 2% rise in crude oil, also rallied.
Manufacturing activity in the New York region remained below
zero for the third straight month. The Empire State index fell to
negative 7.7 in August from negative 3.8 in July, according to the
Empire State manufacturing survey released Monday by the New York
Federal Reserve. Economists expected a zero reading.
Meanwhile, the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo
home market index came in at 15 - flat compared to the previous
month, but head of economists' consensus estimate for a reading of
13, according to MarketWatch. Prospective buyer traffic and current
sales conditions - rose.
In company news:
Shares of Pfizer (
) are higher, after the pharmaceutical giant announced that it has
prevailed in its Viagra patent infringement action against Teva
). The court's decision, which is subject to appeal, prevents Teva
from receiving approval for a generic form of Viagra until October
2019. Litigation on the same patent remains pending against other
generic companies, but no trials are scheduled in those cases.
Shares of Google are seeing M&A-related pressure after the
Internet giant said it will acquire Motorola Mobility (
) for $40.00 per share in cash, or $12.5 billion, a premium of 63%
to the closing price of Motorola Mobility shares on Friday, Aug.
12. The transaction was unanimously approved by the boards of
directors of both companies. Motorola Mobility shares surged on the
Impax Laboratories, Inc. (
) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) said their experimental Parkinson's
disease drug IPX066 produced positive topline results in a phase
III trial in patients with advanced Parkinson's disease. The
companies said that IPX066 demonstrated statistically significant
improvement over carbidopa-levodopa plus entacapone in reducing the
percentage of "off time" during waking hours.
Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) is higher after billionaire
investor Warren Buffett called for an immediate increase in income
taxes on "mega-rich" Americans. In an article in this morning's New
York Times, Buffett said households with more than $1 million in
annual income and those making $10 million or more annually should
pay higher taxes. Rates for almost everyone else should remain the
same, he said.
Shares of Caribou Coffee (CBOU)are moderately lower after the
company said a major stockholder of the company - an affiliate of
Arcapita Bank B.S.C. - will sell 5.15 million shares in an
underwritten public offering. The selling shareholder has also
granted the underwriters an option to purchase up to 772,245
additional shares of common stock to cover over-allotments, if
Shares of Bank of America (BAC) are higher after the bank said
it has agreed to sell its credit card business in Canada to TD Bank
Group and that it will exit its credit card businesses in the U.K.
and Ireland. "While the credit card remains a fundamental core
product for our U.S. customers, an international consumer card
business under another brand is not consistent with that strategy,"
the company says.
Shares of Transocean (RIG) are higher on the company's plans to
acquire Norwegian drilling rig operator Aker Drilling ASA at a 62%
premium in a deal valued at $2.23 billion. Under the transaction,
Transocean, which owned the rig at the center of last year's
catastrophic U.S. Gulf of Mexico oil spill, has made a voluntary
$4.83 per share cash offer for all outstanding shares in the
Commodities are higher. December gold contracts are up 0.4% to
$1,738 an ounce while September crude oil contacts are up 2.02% to
$87.05 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is up 1.81% to
$33.83 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is down 2%, to
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 0.02% to
$170. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is up 0.98% to $59.80.
iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up 0.42% to $38.28.
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