[Chart courtesy of MarketWatch.com]
1. Moving The Markets
U.S. stock markets continued their rally today, driven largely by positive corporate news and earnings announcements. The major indexes all gained as the chart above shows. The health-care sector led the eight of ten S&P 500 sectors that finished higher on the day. Driving health-care gains was the news from the pharmaceutical space that British drug giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will sell its cancer-products business to Novartis AG (NVS) for $14.5 billion. At the same time, Novartis AG said separately that it will sell its animal health division to Eli Lilly (LLY) for $5.4 billion. Shares of Glaxo and Novartis gained 5% and 1.2% respectively, while Eli Lilly shares gained 1.5%
Netflix (NFLX) was back in the news today as it announced that it will raise prices in the near future on its streaming services, but for new customers only. Existing subscribers will hold on to the current monthly rate. The news from Netflix that really grabbed investors’ attention though was their reporting net profit of 86 cents per share during the first quarter, which topped both internal and Wall Street forecasts. The company also reached 48 million subscribers, which was much faster growth than anticipated.
Align Technology (ALGN), Apple (AAPL), Biogen Idec (BIIB) and Facebook (FB) are among companies due to report quarterly earnings Wednesday. Let’s keep the good corporate earnings news rolling in! Also, economic data scheduled for Wednesday will include new-home sales for March and the Mortgage Bankers’ Association’s weekly mortgage applications index.
Our 10 ETFs in the Spotlight headed higher with 1 of them making a new high today while 9 remain on the plus side YTD.