Stocks dropped even after the S&P 500 topped its intra-day high and the Nasdaq its closing high for a second consecutive trading day. Biotechs got smoked, and the healthcare sector was the biggest loser of the day.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 18,072.57, -7.57, (-0.04%)
- S&P 500: 2,112.54, -5.15, (-0.24%)
- Nasdaq: 5,062.33, -29.76, (-0.58%)
And now, the top stories on Monday:
- Texas’ economy is still reeling from the oil crash. The latest Dallas Fed Manufacturing index reading came in at -16, up from -17.4 in March but below expectations for -12. Last month’s reading was the lowest in two years. One executive in the fabricated metal manufacturing sector said: “Our oil and gas customers have come to a complete stop. It looks like everyone in the industry is digging in for a long-term trough.”
- Biotechs had an ugly day. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology Index fell by more than 4%. This pullback comes amid concern that the sector is in a bubble and comes just a day after the Nasdaq hit a new all-time high, the first record high for the tech index since the height of the tech bubble in March 2000.
- Mylan Pharmaceuticals has thrown out Teva Pharmaceuticals’ buyout offer, worth about $US40 billion, saying it lacked industrial logic and carried significant antitrust risk. Teva had proposed to buy Mylan for $US82 per share in cash and stock in a deal worth about $US40 billion. In a statement, Mylan said Teva undervalued its shares, and would have had its shareholders exchange their “high-quality” shares for less. Mylan is still bent on acquiring Perrigo, which has already rejected an offer.
- Gold and silver had a huge day. Gold rallied by as much as 2%, or $US30 an ounce, to as high as $US1,206. It’s back above the key $US1,200 level for the first time in about a week. Silver surged by nearly 5% to as high as $US16.48 an ounce. Both precious metals narrowed in on their biggest one-day pop since January, according to Reuters.
- Akorn Pharmaceuticals shares dived by over 20% after an announcement Friday that there are errors in earnings statements from 2014. In a release, the company said the errors in numbers for the second and third quarters, and the full financial year, relate to understatements of rebates and other sales allowances. That caused an overstatement to net revenue and pretax income from continuing operations of $US20 million to $US35 million for the financial year.
- US services sector activity slowed in April, although last month saw the sharpest rise in service sector payroll numbers since June 2014. The latest flash reading on service sector activity from Markit Economics came in at 57.8. Economists were expecting the index to slip to 58.2 from 59.2 in March.
- Applied Materials on Sunday walked away from its planned bid to buy Tokyo Electron for $US10 billion after over 18 months of talks. In a statement, Applied Materials said the Department of Justice had advised both companies that the deal was not worth losing one competitor in their industry. It was the second big merger attempt to fail in recent days, following the termination Friday of the Time Warner/Comcast deal. Applied Materials shares fell by more than 8%.