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Midday Market Update

Stocks Move Higher Again

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U.S. Market    
Stocks were higher today after Yellen’s remarks yesterday that seemed to put a rate hike in June off the table.

Oil prices rose again today on Nigerian supply disruptions.

First-quarter productivity was revised slightly upwards to a 0.6% decline from an initially reported 1% decline. The data showed that unit labor costs, a measure of compensation, rose 4.5% in the quarter while the output of goods was up only 0.9%. 

At midday the Dow and S&P 500 were each up 0.4% while the Nasdaq rose 0.1%.

Stocks on the Move
Shares of  Biogen (BIIB) were off over 12% this morning after the firm said the Phase 2 study of its new MS drug failed to meet is objectives.

 Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) sharply cut its earnings guidance this morning. The company now expected to earn between $6.60 to $7 a share for the year, compared to its previous guidance of $8.50 to $9.50 a share.  The move comes after new CEO Joseph Papa took the reins last month following a tumultuous period for the firm. Shares were down 13% at midday and are off over 87% over the last twelve months. 

There were reports late Monday that  Verizon (VZ) is expected to submit a $3 billion bid for  Yahoo’s (YHOO) core Internet business. Private-equity firm TPG is also expected to bid. Yahoo shares were down slightly on the news.

Foreign Markets
European markets were higher today. The FTSE 100 edged up 0.2% while the Paris CAC and Germany’s DAX were 1.3% and 1.6% higher respectively.

Asian shares were also up. The Shanghai Composite gained 0.1%, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.6% while the Hang Seng was 1.4% higher. 

Jeremy Glaser does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.