On The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks had a modest initial reaction during late trading on Friday as news crossed that Speaker Paul Ryan was forced to pull his American Health Care Act bill, meant to repeal and replace Obamacare, from the House floor since it would not pass a vote. Stocks fell at the open today in an apparent delayed reaction, though the averages saw their worst levels soon after the bell and have cut into their losses as the morning has continued. While the health care setback has spurred doubts about the Trump administration's ability to achieve its aggressive agenda, a pivot to focusing on taxes may be helping to lessen the sting, at least from a stock market perspective. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the Dallas Fed's manufacturing index dropped 7.6 points to 16.9 in March after rising 2.4 points to 24.5 in February, which was the highest since April 2006. COMPANY NEWS: Several hospital names such as Community Health (CYH), HCA Holdings (HCA), LifePoint (LPNT), Tenet (THC) and Universal Health (UHS) are up near noon after the embattled health care bill seeking to replace the Affordable Care Act was pulled from the floor of the House as it became clear that it would be defeated. President Trump has since said that his administration is moving onto other issues such as tax reform... After opening in negative territory, shares of Cal-Main Foods (CALM) have since recouped their losses. This morning, the shell eggs producer reported its third quarter results, which fell short of analysts' expectations... Meanwhile, Snap (SNAP) has gained over 4% after several Wall Street analysts started coverage of the stock with buy-equivalent ratings. This follows what has been mostly bearish calls on Snapchat's parent since its IPO earlier this month. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Impax Laboratories (IPXL), which jumped over 25% after the company announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Paul Bisaro, formerly of Allergan (AGN), as President, CEO and a member of the company's board. Also higher was EXACT Sciences (EXAS), which gained almost 7% after Aetna (AET) published an updated colorectal cancer screening policy which now includes coverage of the company's Cologuard test. Additionally, Weatherford International (WFT) rose 9% after the company announced a joint venture with Schlumberger (SLB). Among the noteworthy losers was G-III Apparel (GIII), which slid almost 14% after a wider than expected earnings miss and weaker than expected outlook. Also lower was Sealed Air (SEE), which slipped about 4% after the company announced plans to sell its Diversey Care division and the food hygiene and cleaning business within its Food Care division to a private equity firm for about $3.2B. Additionally, Wageworks (WAGE) dropped nearly 5% after Wells Fargo analyst Jamie Stockton downgraded the stock to Market Perform, saying the failure to repeal/replace the Affordable Care Act should take away some of the stock's premium valuation. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 47.14, or 0.23%, to 20,548.98, the Nasdaq was down 1.16, or 0.02%, to 5,827.58, and the S&P 500 was down 4.43, or 0.19%, to 2,339.55.