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Medivation surges on Pfizer takeover as US markets stay flat

Pfizer on Monday announced it had reached a deal to purchase Medivation, which manufactures a prized prostate cancer medication, for $14 billion. Photograph: (AFP)

AFP New York, United States Aug 22, 2016, 09.20 PM (IST)
Cancer drugmaker Medivation yesterday gained nearly 20 per cent after the announcement it would be bought by Pfizer, but Wall Street stocks were otherwise generally flat.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.1 per cent at 18,529.42 while the S&P 500 fell less than 0.1 per cent to 2,182.64.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq, where Medivation is listed, rose 0.1 per cent 5,244.60

Chris Low of FTN Financial said the markets were in wait-and-see mode, with a lack of economic data coming this week and a much-anticipated speech from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen due on Friday in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

"Traders are looking at this and are probably reluctant to take a position on either side of the market as long as there are opportunities for surprises," Low told AFP.

Pfizer on Monday announced it had reached a deal to purchase Medivation, which manufactures a prized prostate cancer medication, for $14 billion.

Pfizer was down 0.4 per cent and Johnson & Johnson fell almost 0.7 per cent. But Merck and Eli Lilly were both up 0.3 per cent

Social media giant Twitter lost 2.3 per cent.

Peter Cardillo of First Standard Financial Company told AFP that markets would likely continue to move sideways until Yellen's speech.

"We are looking at the Jackson Hole meeting later this week and I think this is going to keep the market in a range, a little higher, a little lower," he said. "Just trading sideways for most of the week."

Oil stocks were split on Monday as crude prices sank, with Chevron Corp down 0.4 percent but Exxon Mobil up 0.2 per cent.

Oil services contractor Halliburton fell 3.8 per cent while Baker Hughes was 1.7 per cent lower than Friday's close.

(AFP)
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