Tuesday Evening Business Brief
January 28, 2014, 6:21 PM
- The stock market has turned positive after three days of losses. The Dow rose more than 90 points to close at 15,928. The Standard & Poor's 500 gained 11 to 1,792, while the Nasdaq added 14 points to 4,098.Health care stocks made gains after the big drugmaker Pfizer turned in earnings that were higher than investors had expected. Apple held back technology stocks after issuing a revenue forecast that was below market expectations.
- Amgen's fourth-quarter profit jumped 30 percent thanks to higher sales for nearly all its drugs. A tax benefit and an acquisition also helped. Amgen bought Onyx Pharmaceuticals as part of a strategy to become a major player in the market for pricey cancer drugs. The world's biggest maker of biologic drugs says net income was more than $1 billion, or $1.33 per share. Also reporting after the bell, AT&T posted stronger-than-expected fourth quarter earnings, while Yahoo's report shows its revenues continue to fall.
- There's a potential game-changer in the pain-reliever market. A Food and Drug Administration panel says naproxen, the key ingredient in Aleve and other generic pain pills, may be safer on the heart than other popular anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen. FDA staffers are recommending relabeling naproxen to emphasize its safety.
- Verizon says its shareholders have approved its $130 billion deal to buy the 45 percent stake in its wireless division owned by British cellphone carrier Vodafone. As part of the deal, Verizon will issue up to 1.28 billion shares of common stock to Vodafone shareholders. Verizon says buying Vodafone's stake will give it greater flexibility to invest in new technologies. And, once the deal closes, Verizon will no longer have to share its wireless operating profits with Vodafone.
- Football players at Northwestern are forming a union for college athletes. Outgoing Wildcats quarterback Kain Colter today announced the creation of the College Athletes Players Association. Colter says the NCAA currently dictates conditions, and athletes need "a seat at the table" if they are to get safeguards against injuries and adequate financial compensation. A United Steelworkers official says the key issue is whether college football players can be considered employees legally. If so, they have the right to organize.
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