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Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Markets Continue to Show Weakness as Defensive Names Come into Favor

By: Benzinga
Posted: 4/7/2014 3:46:00 PM
Referenced Stocks: MNKD;QCOR;RFMD;SHLD;CIG

Toward the end of trading Monday, the Dow traded down 0.72 percent to 16,295.32 while the NASDAQ declined 0.86 percent to 4,093.19. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.78 percent to 1,850.77.

Leading and Lagging Sectors Monday morning, the utilities sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Leading the sector was strength Huaneng Power International (NYSE: HNP ) and Companhia Energética de Minas Gerais SA (NYSE: CIG ). In trading on Monday, cyclical consumer goods & services shares were relative laggards, down on the day by about 1.25 percent.

Top decliners in the sector included Sears Holdings (NASDAQ: SHLD ), off 18 percent, and World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE: WWE ), down 21 percent.

Top Headline Mallinckrodt (NYSE: MNK ) announced its plans to acquire Questcor Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: QCOR ) in a deal valued at around $5.6 billion. Mallinckrodt will buy Questcor for a total consideration of around $86.10 per share. Questcor stockholders will get $30.00 a share in cash and 0.897 of a Mallinckrodt share for every Questcor share.

Equities Trading UP

Questcor Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: QCOR ) shares shot up 17.53 percent to $79.78 after the company agreed to be bought by Mallinckrodt (NYSE: MNK ) in a deal valued at around $5.6 billion. Shares of Agios Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AGIO ) got a boost, shooting up 28.55 percent to $45.50 after the company announced initial Phase 1 AG-221 data presented at AACR 2014. JP Morgan upgraded the stock from Neutral to Overweight and raised the price target from $40.00 to $55.00. RF Micro Devices (NASDAQ: RFMD ) was also on the rise, gaining 3.20 percent to $7.74 despite there being little news on the name on Monday's session.

Equities Trading DOWN Shares of Puma Biotechnology (NYSE: PBYI ) fell on Monday's session, dropping 19.91 percent to $85.25 after the company released some phase II data on its I-SPY 2 trial.

World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE: WWE ) shares tumbled 12.65 percent to $24.48. The company reported that WWE Network is on pace for 1 million subscribers by the end of 2014.

MannKind (NASDAQ: MNKD ) was down, falling 10.04 percent to $6.18 after the company announced that the FDA extended PDUFA date for AFREZZA by 3 months.

Commodities In commodity news, oil traded down 0.55 percent to $100.58, while gold traded down 0.45 percent to $1,297.10.

Silver traded down 0.24 percent Monday to $19.92, while copper rose 0.65 percent to $3.04.

Eurozone European shares were lower today.

The Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.61 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index dropped 0.84 percent.

Meanwhile, the German DAX tumbled 1.96 percent and the French CAC 40 slipped 1.08 percent while U.K. shares declined 1.10 percent.

Economics Data on consumer credit for February will be released at 3:00 p.m. ET.

© 2014 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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