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U.S. stocks jumped Tuesday as traders celebrated big news and deals across the pharmaceutical sector and better than expected economic data:
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended today up 0.4% to 1,879.55.
- The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained for a sixth straight session – its longest streak since September. It rose 0.41% to 1,871.89.
- The Nasdaq Composite gained 1% to 4,161.56.
Here’s your recap of today’s major market events.
- Shakeups in the Pharma Sector: A lot of big news in the pharmaceutical sector on Tuesday. GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) announced it will no longer produce cancer drugs and instead focus on just four areas: consumer health products, respiratory treatments, HIV treatments, and vaccines. Meanwhile, AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) hired two Wall Street investment banks as consultants on ongoing discussions involving its possible purchase by U.S. rival Pfizer. Finally, activist investor Bill Ackman and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE: VRX) proposed a cash-and-stock buyout offer for Botox-maker Allergan Inc. (NYSE: AGN) for $45.6 billion.
- The Death of Retail: It’s time to put this retail company on bankruptcy watch. Today, shares in RadioShack Corp. (NYSE: RSH) slipped as much as 9%, hitting an all-time low. The company announced that its executive vice president Troy Risch resigned on Friday, drawing increased concerns about the management’s commitment to the company’s turnaround. It’s been a long month for the retailer. On Thursday, the stock fell by 17% after its lenders objected to its strategic plan to shut down up to 1,100 stores in its network.
- Insane Valuations: According to DealBook, Airbnb, a mobile app developer, recently closed a $475 million round of financing from a group led by TPG Growth. But the price of the shares sold actually values the mobile company – which allows homeowners and apartment dwellers to rent out spare rooms and couches – at a staggering $10 billion. That would value the startup higher than global hotel giants Hyatt Hotels (NYSE: H) and Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE: WYN).
- Housing Slips as Expected: Sales of existing U.S. homes slumped to their lowest levels in more than 18 months in March. According to the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales slipped 0.2% to hit a yearly rate of 4.59 million houses. However, the association said it is confident that the downturn in housing is ending and that the spring buying season will provide a strong roar to the market.
- No Raise for You: In April 2013, Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS), CBS Broadcasting Inc. (NYSE: CBS), Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA), and Twenty-First Century Fox (Nasdaq: FOXA) appealed a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision that rejected a request to shut down Aereo, a popular streaming service that allows users to watch live network television shows. Today, that case is being heard in the U.S. Supreme Court over whether Aereo, which doesn’t pay the networks for content, is violating the broadcasting companies’ copyrights. Early indications suggest the court is not favoring Aereo; however, the court is very concerned that a ruling against Aereo, which also allows users to store content, could drastically affect the future of the cloud, online streaming, and broadcast television forever.
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