| 2017-09-13 12:15:43|
CNC, JWN… 12:15 09/13 09/13/17
On The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks began the session with minor losses and have remained very close to the flatline throughout the morning, with the averages in a virtual holding pattern and trading ranges extremely narrow. The market has held up well after closing yesterday at record highs and facing a headwind in Apple (AAPL) shares, which are struggling following yesterday's iPhone X unveiling. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the producer-price index rose 0.2% in August with the core rate up 0.1%, both of which were a bit below expectations. In Asia, Japan's PPI grew 2.9% year-over-year in August, representing its highest growth level since 2008. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Centene (CNC) advanced nearly 7% after the health insurer announced last night a "highly accretive" acquisition of Fidelis Care for $3.75B. As other healthcare insurers like Aetna (AET), Anthem (ANTM) and UnitedHealth (UNH) step back from the Affordable Care Act's challenged insurance exchanges, Centene, which specializes in the state and federal Medicaid programs for less advantaged and underserved, continues to execute on the ACA's public insurance exchange. Following the Fidelis deal, Centene will now have "leadership" position in the country's four largest managed care states by membership - California, Florida, New York and Texas. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Nordstrom (JWN), which rose 6% after CNBC reported that the family that controls the department store chain is close to a deal to choose private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners to help fund a "go private" deal. Also higher was Target (TGT), whose shares climbed 3% in early trading after the company announced that it will hire significantly more seasonal workers for the critical holiday season than last year. Among the noteworthy losers was Western Digital (WDC), which dropped 4% after joint-venture partner Toshiba (TOSYY) said it has entered into a memorandum of understanding with a consortium lead by Bain Capital memorializing the parties' intent to negotiate a definitive agreement for the sale of Toshiba Memory Corporation by the end of this month. Also lower was Lexicon Pharmaceuticals (LXRX), which fell 9% after the company's Phase 3 inTandem3 study results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine, accompanied by an editorial that JPMorgan analyst Jessica Fye said "reads cautiously" on associated diabetic ketoacidosis. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 2.93, or 0.01%, to 22,121.79, the Nasdaq was down 6.24, or 0.1%, to 6,448.04, and the S&P 500 was down 1.38, or 0.06%, to 2,495.10.
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