On The Fly: Top stock stories for Thursday
Stocks moved in a narrow range once again, with investors seeming content to sit on the sidelines for yet another session ahead of tomorrow's speech by Fed Chair Janet Yellen at the Jackson Hole Symposium. Analysts are hoping to receive some clarity on interest rates. The market had little to key in on today except for the latest firestorm about drug company pricing, which now sees Mylan (MYL) at its center. Oil acted better today after a two-day slide, rallying more than 1%. ECONOMIC NEWS: In the U.S., durable goods orders jumped 4.4% in July from the prior month. Initial jobless claims dipped 1,000 to 261,000 in the week that ended on August 19. Markit's flash services PMI fell back to 50.9 in August. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Mylan closed the trading day down 0.7% after advancing early in the session on the heels of the company's announcement that it will be reducing the patient cost of its EpiPen Auto-Injector through the use of a "savings card." CEO Heather Bresch defended Mylan in a CNBC interview, but the move was called not enough by analysts and government officials, who noted the need for direct price cuts rather than convoluted savings programs. Meanwhile, pharmacy benefit managers Express Scripts (ESRX) and CVS Health (CVS) slid 6% and 3.5%, respectively, as Mylan implicated them as partly to blame for the high cost of EpiPen. The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association struck back by saying the company made a mistake to "adopt the failed PR strategy used unsuccessfully by Valeant (VRX) and Turing," adding that it is "not credible to assert that Mylan's price hikes are the fault of those paying the bills."... The Federal Trade Commission announced that Tesla (TSLA) was granted early termination for its planned acquisition of SolarCity (SCTY). This means that the FTC and Department of Justice Antitrust Division have completed their review and determined not to take any enforcement action... Shares of St. Jude Medical (STJ) fell 5% after Muddy Waters Research disclosed that it is shorting the stock of the medical device maker on possible cybersecurity vulnerabilities, as it believes the company's defibrillators and pacemakers can be easily compromised, causing possible fatal disruptions. Abbott (ABT), which has agreed to acquire St. Jude Medical, closed down about 0.75%. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Tiffany (TIF), which advanced 6.4% after the company beat earnings expectations in the quarter and maintained its outlook. Also higher was Guess (GES), which gained 22% after its own earnings report. B. Riley analyst Jeff Van Sinderen upgraded the stock to Buy, saying he believes the "end game" for Guess will be a sale of the company. Additionally, International Paper (IP) rose nearly 4% after Deutsche Bank analyst Debbie Jones said the company is increasing containerboard prices by $50 per ton effective October 1st, citing trade contacts. Among the noteworthy losers were Dollar Tree (DLTR) and Dollar General (DG), which dropped 9.9% and 17.7%, respectively, after the discount retailers reported worse than expected quarterly results. Also lower was after earnings was Signet Jewelers (SIG), which slipped 12.5% after second quarter earnings missed expectations, with third quarter guidance also weaker than expected. INDEXES: The Dow fell 33.07, or 0.18%, to 18,448.41, the Nasdaq lost 5.49, or 0.11%, to 5,212.20, and the S&P 500 declined 2.97, or 0.14%, to 2,172.47.