Although yesterday was a weak day in the markets, we saw some strength carry over from the rally last Friday. We continue to like the fact that we see more new highs than new lows being set each day even as the general market action and volume direction is highly sensitive to news and comments regarding the fiscal cliff. As the highlights from this morning's article indicate, there are still bright spots in the market, it is simply a matter of finding them and hitching a ride for the rise.
We have economic news due out today and it is as follows:
- MBA Mortgage Index - N/A
- New Home Sales - 388k
- Crude Inventories - N/A
- Fed's Beige Book
Asian markets finished lower today:
- All Ordinaries - down 0.24%
- Shanghai Composite - down 0.89%
- Nikkei 225 - down 1.22%
- NZSE 50 - up 0.06%
- Seoul Composite - down 0.65%
In Europe markets are higher this morning:
- CAC 40 - down 0.55%
- DAX - down 0.21%
- FTSE 100 - down 0.35%
- OSE - down 0.89%
Las Vegas Sands (LVS) shares rose by $2.33 (5.29%) to close at $46.35/share on volume of 17.5 million shares as investors cheered news that the company would pay a special dividend of $2.75/share to investors before the end of the year. The move will not affect the annual dividend that the company pays, and Las Vegas Sands actually indicated that they plan to continue to raise the annual payout moving forward too. This is all in an effort to be tax efficient for investors, mainly the company's major shareholder - CEO Sheldon Addelson. The special dividend will be paid on December 18, 2012 to shareholders of record as of December 10, 2012.
The big gainer yesterday was Acadia Pharmaceuticals (ACAD) which saw shares rise $3.13 (136.09%) to close at $5.43/share on abnormally high volume of 60.1 million shares. The move was due to the company's success in a Phase III Trial for its drug Pimavanserin which showed promise for treating Parkinson's patients with psychosis. In the Phase III Trial, the company stated that the drug succeeded in obtaining the primary goal and the key secondary goals set which allowed better treatment for the patient while also not increasing the burden upon caregivers with the main side effects being falls and urinary tract infections. The drug is the company's most advanced and if approved currently has no competition in the marketplace.
The Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, issued a statement yesterday which stated that they did not see an immediate reason to take action against energy drink makers - including Monster Beverage (MNST). Shares in Monster, which readers will remember have been beaten down recently over fears that the FDA would increase oversight on the product category, rose $6.09 (13.28%) yesterday to close at $51.97/share on volume of 13.2 million shares. We could still see new regulations in the future, but immediate action to lessen the drinks' popularity or potential customer base seems unlikely at this point.
Ralcorp Holdings (RAH) moved higher by $18.57 (26.44%) to close at $88.80/share on volume of 33.1 million shares after it was announced that ConAgra was going to buy the company for $4.95 billion, or $90/share. The deal is an all cash offer and ends a standoff between the two companies resulting from Ralcorp's initial reluctance for a deal.
It is sometimes easy to forget exactly how big Apple's reach is across industries and the type of impact it can have upon a company, no matter how large. Yesterday was another reminder of that, as Corning (GLW) announced that sales of its Gorilla Glass, the face of Apple products, will come in at about $1 billion this year. Obviously the product is used in many other devices these days, from other company's phones to tablets to televisions so the announcement indicates that the company sees higher demand in the fourth quarter for a wide range of consumer electronic devices. Yesterday's news was good for shareholders as it ended the recent weakness in the company's shares as investors pushed the stock price higher by $0.78 (6.87%) to close at $12.13/share on above average volume of 42.2 million shares.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.