After Market: Mergers and Health Care Power a Healthy Stock Surge

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A big rally to start the week sent one of the major averages to within a whisker of its all-time high Monday. And if analysts were left scratching their heads, trying to find a good reason for the day's big upswing, no one seemed to be complaining about it.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) jumped 105 points, the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) rose 29, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) gained 11 points, closing within a point of its high water mark after giving back some of its gains in the final minutes of trading. The Dow has recovered most of its losses from the first five weeks of the year, but it's still about 2 percent shy of its record.

Of course, there were lots of winners. Let's start with the health care, drug and biotech sectors.

JPMorgan issued upbeat comments following a favorable ruling recently on Medicare reimbursement rates. Humana (HUM) jumped 10.5 percent. United Healthcare (UNH), Wellpoint (WLP) and Tenet (THC) all gained about 3 percent. Pfizer (PFE) rose 1.5 percent after revealing that its pneumonia vaccine had been shown to be effective in a large-scale clinical trial.

And a small biotech firm, Celladon (CGI), surged 26 percent after inking a research and licensing deal with the French firm Servier.

Mergers and acquisitions also powered some major stock moves.

Semiconductor firms RF Micro Devices (RFMD) and TriQuint (TQNT) agreed to combine. RF jumped 21 percent and TriQuint 26 percent.

Jos. A. Bank (JOSB) gained 9 percent as Men's Wearhouse (MW) upped its hostile bid to acquire its rival. Men's Wearhouse rose 7.5 percent.

And Chesapeake Energy (CHK) gained nearly 3 percent on news it may spin off its oil field services division.

Netflix (NFLX) gained 3.5 percent after agreeing to pay Comcast (CMCSA) a fee to insure the speedy transmission of its content. Over the past year; its stock chart has been moving almost constantly upward -– the streaming video giant has gained nearly 150 percent. But the deal sent Cogent Communications (CCOI) down nearly 7 percent. It's getting knocked out of its role as middleman between the two companies.

Finally, Blackberry (BBRY) jumped 7.5 percent following a report that it will supply the voice activated system in Ford's (F) cars. Blackberry shares are near the $10 mark, up from a low of below $6 back in December.

What to Watch Tuesday:
  • At 9 a.m. Eastern time, the Federal Housing Finance Agency releases its house price index for December, and Standard & Poor's releases the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index for December.
  • The Conference Board releases consumer confidence for February at 10 a.m.
These major companies are scheduled to release quarterly financial statements:
  • AMC Entertainment Holding (AMC)
  • Boston Beer (SAM)
  • Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (CBRL)
  • Home Depot (HD)
  • Macy's (M)
  • Office Depot (ODP)
  • Papa John's International (PZZA)
  • Steve Madden (SHOO)
  • T-Mobile US (TMUS)
  • Toll Brothers (TOL)
  • Visteon (VC)
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.


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25 Comments

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SPQR

Have some fun before it is all over

February 25 2014 at 1:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jeql120nb4mje

Only Government benefits from raising the minimum wage. The minimum wage is an entry level wage. It is not a Living Wage. It will never be a Living wage, because the cost of everything will go up and those living below the poverty line now will soon find themselves below the poverty line again as the government raises the poverty line index. (When I posted this earlier, several people took issue citing the statics below. One even challenged my assertion that I started at 90 Cents per hour. They totally missed the point. THE MINIMUM WAGE CAUSES INFLATION. IT MAY NOT BE THE ONLY CAUSE OF INFLATION, BUT IT IS THE OVER RIDING FACTOR. THE BOTTOM LINE IS IT THE GOVERNMENT THAT BENEFITS, BECAUSE THEY COLLECT A HIGHER PERCENTAGE OF YOUR EARNING. SORRY YOU MISSED THE POINT.) When I started working, the minimum wage was 90 cents per hour. You could buy a Big Mac, Fries and Shake for about 80 cents. Now the minimum wage is $7.25 per hour and a Big Mac, Fries and Shake cost almost $8.00. If the minimum wage is raised to $9.00 per hour, you can bet that it won’t be long before the Big Mac, Fries and Shake will cost over $10.00. And of course, everything will cost more as a result. The Unions will demand more pay because their “delta” just shrank and they think that they should receive a cost of living raise. The Government benefits because they don’t index taxes to inflation and the income tax and payroll tax will bring in more revenue.
B.O.H.I.C.A
Bend over, Here it comes again.

February 24 2014 at 11:48 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jeql120nb4mje's comment
SPQR

I like that comment !

February 25 2014 at 1:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ted_wilson6

k4jlp
Bullshit....EVERYONE has the right to food, shelter and security regardless of class, gender or race...******* But they don't have a right to expect it by with no skills, working minimum wage jobs !

February 24 2014 at 10:53 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to ted_wilson6's comment
SPQR

No they don't ...where have you been... we are just animals ....we step on them every day and don't think about it twice. Survival of the fittest my man

February 25 2014 at 1:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
SPQR

I agree free Big Macs for the stupid!!!

February 25 2014 at 1:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lpi2007

Minimum wage has a meaning, when you have Minimum education, Minimum experience, Minimum performance, and they want 15.00 a hour... BE AN OBAMA VOTER AND GET WELFARE..

February 24 2014 at 9:01 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to lpi2007's comment
betty_brock

BINGO. Liberals hate truth like that.

February 24 2014 at 9:34 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to betty_brock's comment
ted_wilson6

Liberals don't hate truth. They just have no concept of what it is. Liberals believe in freedom so fervently, they believe it to be MANDATORY!

February 24 2014 at 10:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
jwmgrand

Be ready for the rug to get yanked ........... its going to happen ... and many will be blindsided ... when the Fed takes their ball and bat home !

February 24 2014 at 8:58 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to jwmgrand's comment
betty_brock

FIRE THE FED

February 24 2014 at 9:36 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
SPQR

yes the next real depression is yet to come

February 25 2014 at 1:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
betty_brock

The president wants to run the country by himself but doesn't want to take any responsibility. You can't have it both ways.

February 24 2014 at 8:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
k4jlp

Allright then...lets jump on the bandwagon. Now not only can we scam some cash on Big Oil stocks, we can ADD healthcare stocks. And not have to even lift a finger...well maybe one...the "enter" key...

February 24 2014 at 7:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

Mergers and Acquisitions are powering the next big blow out in the Labor Market.

February 24 2014 at 6:08 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

When I was young I worked for a division of Macy's however I was too young to know I was qualified for free cheese if I stood in line.

February 24 2014 at 5:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Iselin007's comment
SPQR

there is no more free cheese my man

February 25 2014 at 1:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

These major companies are scheduled to release quarterly financial statements: •AMC Entertainment Holding (AMC)
•Boston Beer (SAM)
•Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (CBRL)
•Home Depot (HD)
•Macy's (M)
•Office Depot (ODP)
•Papa John's International (PZZA)
•Steve Madden (SHOO)
•T-Mobile US (TMUS)
•Toll Brothers (TOL)
•Visteon (VC)

Please tell me how many of those companies pay a living wage to the majority of their American Workforce and also how many workers are on public asistance.

February 24 2014 at 5:43 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Iselin007's comment
bdyftns

Minimum wage was never meant to be a living wage where you could buy a home, a car and put your kids through college. They continue try to push for a $15 dollar an hour minimum wage it's going to put people/and or business's our of work.

February 24 2014 at 6:58 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bdyftns's comment
k4jlp

Bullshit....EVERYONE has the right to food, shelter and security regardless of class, gender or race...were not talking yachts and diamonds, just a place to live and food to eat. We are humans, not slaves.

February 24 2014 at 7:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
SPQR

Don't work for them then and go back to school, collect beer cans, sell your kidney, drive a cab, move to Colorado and grow pot.....go West young man!!!

February 25 2014 at 1:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply