Midway through trading Wednesday, the Dow traded down 0.54 percent to 25,518.76 while the NASDAQ declined 0.94 percent to 7,619.59. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.72 percent to 2,797.96.
Leading and Lagging Sectors
On Wednesday, the industrial shares fell by just 0.3 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Performant Financial Corp (NASDAQ: PFMT) up 9 percent, and Navios Maritime Partners L.P. (NYSE: NMM) up 8 percent.
In trading on Wednesday, health care shares fell 1.1 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 23 percent to $5.66 after the company reported a $26.2 million offering of common stock and warrants.
Shares of Shoe Carnival, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCVL) shot up 21 percent to $36.74 after the company reported stronger-than-expected results for its fourth quarter.
AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVEO) shares were also up, gaining 11 percent to $0.63 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 31 percent to $0.80 after the company reported worse-than-expected Q4 sales results and a net loss of $3.05 per share.
Shares of Fibrocell Science, Inc. (NASDAQ: FCSC) were down 21 percent to $1.9690 after the company reported feedback from Type B end-of-Phase 2 meeting with the FDA on Phase 3 trial design for FCX-007.
Moleculin Biotech Inc (NASDAQ: MBRX) was down, falling around 28 percent to $0.87 after reporting an offering of common stock.
In commodity news, oil traded down 1.2 percent to $59.24 while gold traded down 0.4 percent to $1,316.30.
Silver traded down 0.8 percent Wednesday to $15.30, while copper fell 0.1 percent to $2.8535.
European shares were mostly higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 dropped 0.13 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.45 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index rose 0.18 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX declined 0.13 percent, and the French CAC 40 slipped 0.22 percent while U.K. shares fell 0.28 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.
The Treasury is set to auction 5-year notes at 1:00 p.m. ET.
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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