Health Care Sector Update for 12/22/2016: STJ,ABT,TKAI,OVAS

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Top Health Care Stocks

JNJ +0.15%

PFE -0.26%

MRK 0.00%

ABT +0.16%

AMGN +0.08%

Health care stocks were slightly higher in late trade, with the NYSE Health Care Index climbing about 0.1% while shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 also were up 0.1% as a group.

In company news, shares of St. Jude Medical ( STJ ) firmed this afternoon following a report earlier Thursday federal regulators are ready to approve Abbott Laboratories' ( ABT ) $25 billion proposed acquisition of the rival medical device manufacturer.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is poised to sign off on the deal as soon as this week or next, a pair of sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. It was not clear what - if any - conditions the business competition agency would require of the companies although Abbott in October said it would sell some of their device operations to Japanese manufacturer Terumo Corp in a bid to pass anti-trust muster.

European authorities approved the Abbott-St. Jude merger last month.

STJ shares were up about 0.5% this afternoon at $79.65 each, backing down from a session high of $80.00 a share. ABT also was hanging on to a much smaller gain, rising about 0.2% to $38.31 a share, staying 4 cents under their intra-day high.

In other sector news,

(+) TKAI, Privately held OticPharma buys 32.2 mln shares for about $35.8 mln, acquiring 60% of combined companies, while Otic investor syndicate also commits to provide $7 mln in new capital to post-merger firm. Expects to keep Nasdaq listing.

(-) OVAS, Cutting workforce by 30% with hopes of reducing 2017 cash burn under $50 mln and keeping OVAS in business until 2019 without more funding. CEO Harald Stock steps down and will be replaced temporarily by Michelle Dipp. Chief operating officer also quits.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , US Markets
Referenced Symbols: ABT ,

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