Midday movers: Pfizer, Pitney Bowes, Best Buy
Stocks are mixed following some worse-than-expected manufacturing data paired with a better-than-expected reading on consumer confidence.
Pfizer (PFE) missed expectations for the first quarter and lowered its full-year view, sending its shares down over 3%. Fellow drug-maker and Dow member Merck (MRK), which is scheduled to report tomorrow morning, slid over 1%, as Wells Fargo said Pfizer's results may indicate weakness for its blue chip peer.
IBM (IBM) approved an additional $5 billion in share buybacks and a 12% hike in its quarterly dividend to 95 cents a share. IBM's announcement, which comes a bit over a week after its quarterly results missed expectations, sent shares up fractionally near noon. Conversely, Pitney Bowes (PBI) reported earnings and revenues below forecast this morning and also lowered its dividend sharply, sending its shares down over 16%.
Among the notable gainers were two drug companies that partner with Pfizer on pain drugs: Pain Therapeutics (PTIE) and Durect (DRRX). On Pfizer's earnings conference call, the company said that it sees a "a path forward" for its pain treatment Remoxy and Pain Therapeutics gained 23% and Durect rose 24% following the pharma giant's comments.
Also higher were shares of Best Buy (BBY), which advanced 8% following an upgrade at Deutsche Bank and the sale of its 50% interest in Best Buy Europe to partner Carphone Warehouse. Among the noteworthy losers was Nuance (NUAN), which dropped over 18% after guiding to third-quarter and full-year earnings well below the Street's view.
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Consumers are very status conscious in Asia, Africa and other emerging-market areas. This is especially true in China.
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