Stocks shrug off coronavirus fears, start week with advance
Stocks rose in the U.S. as some factory workers in China returned to work although many factories there remain closed as the coronavirus continues to spread and reports indicate that the official death toll now exceeds that of the SARS outbreak. For now, however, the U.S. market is shrugging off the concerns about the virus' spread and resumed the rally that had been briefly interrupted on Friday.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., no economic data of note was reported.
TOP NEWS: Shares of Tesla (TSLA) rose 3% after Reuters reported that the company's Shanghai factory will resume production with Chinese government assistance to help it cope with the coronavirus outbreak. Also of note, a Forbes contributor forwarded the speculative argument that Tesla's value could rise to $1.5T aided by a $1,500 per share deal with Google (GOOGL).
Shares of Eli Lilly (LLY) slid about 1% after the company and Roche (RHHBY) announced that the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer's Network Trials Unit, or "DIAN-TU," study of solanezumab and gantenerumab in patients with or at-risk for autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease did not meet its primary endpoint.
In M&A news, Simon Property Group (SPG) announced a deal to acquire an 80% ownership interest in The Taubman Realty Group. Simon, through its operating partnership, Simon Property Group, L.P., will acquire all of Taubman Centers (TCO) common stock for $52.50 per share in cash and the Taubman family will sell approximately one-third of its ownership interest at the transaction price and remain a 20% partner in TRG.
Meanwhile, HP Inc. (HPQ) shares gained 1% after Xerox (XRX) said it intends to launch a tender offer for all of the outstanding shares of HP at an increased price of $24.00 per share. Xerox, which said its new bid will be made up of $18.40 in cash and 0.149 Xerox shares for each HP share, saw its stock rise a bit over 1% following the announcement.
Edgewell Personal Care (EPC) jumped 27.5% after the company gave up on its deal to buy rival razormaker Harry's after the FTC had filed a lawsuit seeking to block the proposed transaction.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Restaurant Brands (QSR), which rose 3% after the parent company of the Burger King and Popeyes brands posted its quarterly results. Also higher was Slack Technologies (WORK), which jumped 15% after Business Insider's Paayal Zaveri reported that the company had "scored its biggest customer deal ever" with IBM (IBM). Slack shares were halted, pending news, about 10 minutes prior to the closing bell.
Among the notable losers was Just Energy (JE), which fell 23% after reporting on its quarterly results and issuing guidance. Also lower was Intelsat (I), which dropped 11% after Raymond James analyst Richard Prentiss downgraded the stock to Market Perform from Outperform.
INDEXES: The Dow rose 174.31, or 0.60%, to 29,276.82
, the Nasdaq gained 107.88, or 1.13%, to 9,628.39, and the S&P 500 advanced 24.38, or 0.73%, to 3,352.09