Toward the end of trading Wednesday, the Dow traded down 0.21 percent to 25,604.47 while the NASDAQ declined 0.65 percent to 7,641.40. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.46 percent to 2,805.43.
Leading and Lagging Sectors
Wednesday afternoon, the industrial shares rose 0.2 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Mistras Group Inc (NYSE: MG) up 6 percent, and Navios Maritime Partners L.P. (NYSE: NMM) up 14 percent.
In trading on Wednesday, health care shares fell 0.9 percent.
Health insurer Centene Corp (NYSE: CNC) said Wednesday it reached an agreement to acquire WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG), a provider of government-sponsored managed care services, for more than $15 billion.
The combination of St. Louis-based Centene and Tampa-based WellCare will create a new health care enterprise company that will be a leader in Medicaid, Medicare and the Health Insurance Marketplace, the companies said in a press release.
WellCare investors will receive a fixed exchange ratio of 3.38 shares of Centene stock in addition to $120 in cash for each share of WellCare owned. At a per-share value of $305.39 based on WellCare's Monday closing price, the companies said this deal implies a total enterprise value of $17.3 billion.
Equities Trading UP
Syndax Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SNDX) shares got a boost, shooting up 15 percent to $5.31 after the company reported a $26.2 million offering of common stock and warrants.
Shares of Shoe Carnival, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCVL) shot up 23 percent to $37.34 after the company reported stronger-than-expected results for its fourth quarter.
AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVEO) shares were also up, gaining 24 percent to $0.7099 after a report the company could be acquired by Astrazeneca for about $800 million to $1.2 billion.
Equities Trading DOWN
Inpixon (NASDAQ: INPX) shares dropped 28 percent to $0.8301 after the company reported worse-than-expected Q4 sales results and a net loss of $3.05 per share.
Shares of CBL & Associates Properties, Inc (NYSE: CBL) were down 23 percent to $1.47 after the company proposed suspending its dividend for 2 quarters to preserve $26M of cash to settle a class action lawsuit.
Moleculin Biotech Inc (NASDAQ: MBRX) was down, falling around 27 percent to $0.8758 after reporting an offering of common stock.
In commodity news, oil traded down 0.9 percent to $59.43 while gold traded down 0.4 percent to $1,315.60.
Silver traded down 1 percent Wednesday to $15.275, while copper rose 0.4 percent to $2.8655.
European shares closed mixed today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 gained 0.02 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.51 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index rose 0.26 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX declined 0.01 percent, and the French CAC 40 slipped 0.12 percent while U.K. shares fell 0.03 percent.
The U.S. trade deficit fell 15 percent to $51.1 billion in January, versus a revised $59.9 billion in December.
The U.S. current-account deficit increased 6.2 percent to $134.4 billion in the fourth quarter, versus a revised $126.6 billion in the third quarter.
U.S. crude supplies climbed 2.8 million barrels for the week ended March 22, the Energy Information Administration. However, analysts projected a gained of 309 thousand barrels. Supplies of gasoline dropped 2.88 million barrels last week, while distillates supply fell 2.08 million barrels.
Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank President Esther George is set to speak in New York at 7:00 p.m. ET.
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