Things are lookng up for CVS Health (CVS) and others in the world of pharmacy services. The lot took it on the chin after Amazon (AMZN) announced its acquisition of PillPack last month. Investors' worst fears were confirmed: Amazon is interested in healthcare. On Thursday, however, investors in CVS got a boost as reports surfaced that the Justice Department will likely not review its $66 billion acquisition of insurer Aetna (AET) . "With this backdrop, it is even more critical that the CVS-AET acquisition closes, so that CVS gains access to a comprehensive end-to-end offering," wrote Oppenheimer analysts at the time of the PillPack-Amazon deal. "By gaining control of end-to-end plan design and care delivery including Rx, CVS can influence a patient's care delivery via in-store clinics and Rx mgmt." While Wall Street was mum on speculation following the report of no DOJ review for CVS-Aetna, investors applauded, sending shares of CVS and Aetna higher. CVS peer Walgreens (WBA) was actually higher, perhaps as some see the clearance of CVS-Aetna as a go-ahead for the Deerfield, Ill. drugstore chain to make a splash in insurance or with a PBM acquisition to help combat the Amazon juggernaut and keep pace with CVS. Is Humana (HUM) still down for an outright acquisition?
Much like England's hopes of a World Cup victory have been dashed, Disney's dream of sealing a deal for for U.K. broadcaster Sky plc via its deal for 21st Century Fox (FOXA) seem to also be on the ropes. As Comcast raised its bid for Sky, Wall Street is wondering if Disney will return to backstop another bid from Fox. Fox honcho Rupert Murdoch, who is selling most of Fox to Disney for $71.3 billion, got permission from Bob Iger's team to take on extra debt for its last bid, explains The Deal's Chris Nolter. Disney, in turn, agreed to reimburse Murdoch's media group £1 per Sky share if it does not close the purchase of Fox, suggesting that Murdoch had at least some trepidation about raising its offer. "The fact that Disney effectively had to backstop Fox with a pound more than they were willing to go suggests that we are nearing an end," said Moody's Investors Service analyst Neil Begley. "It wouldn't surprise me if it ends here," Begley added, with Comcast getting Sky and Disney acquiring Fox.
Markets today: Stocks rose on Thursday, July 12, and global stocks recovered following the previous session's selloff that was driven by the U.S. trade fight with China. The Dow jumped 224 points while the S&P 500 rose to just under 2,800. The tech-heavy Nasdaq also rose despite a sell-off in Broadcom (AVGO) following its deal for CA Technologies (CA) , the old Computer Associates.
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