Health stocks met the weekend on a mixed note Friday after another week of earnings and a day of analyst adjustments. On Friday the Nasdaq and Amex biotechnology indices were down 0.6% and 1.1%, respectively. But the Amex pharmaceutical index nudged up 1.08, or 0.35%, to 306.61. Some of the pharmas on the uptick Friday included Bristol-Myers Squibb ( BMY) and Wyeth ( WYE), which increased 1.3% and 1.2%. One offender to the Nasdaq biotech index Friday, Discovery Labs ( DSCO), was brushed off by the Food and Drug Administration for a third time. The agency didn't approve its Surflaxin, a treatment for the prevention of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) in premature infants, but said it could be approvable in the future if certain, undisclosed, conditions are met. Shares sank $1.40, or 48.2%, to $1.50. The company said investors can expect an update from the company early next week. Other stocks moved on post-earnings analyst adjustments. Vanda Pharmaceuticals ( VNDA) shares traded higher, a day after its earnings. Caris began coverage of the company with a buy rating and a $22 price target, expecting a positive FDA decision for schizophrenia treatment Fanapta in July. Shares were up 50 cents, or 13.8%, to $4.12. Meanwhile, JMP Securities downgraded Cerus ( CERS) to market perform from market outperform, a day after its earnings. Cerus shares were off by 10.6%, at $5.63. A day after posting its quarterly figures, Sepracor ( SEPR) was also on the downtick amid analyst actions. Friedman Billings Ramsey downgraded the stock to underperform from market perform and dropped its price target to $17 from $23. Susquehanna Financial, which has a negative rating for the stock, upped its target to $17 from $14. Sepracor shares were down $1.90, or 8.8%, at $19.55. And finally, Lazard Capital downgraded Palomar Medical Technologies ( PMTI) a day after earnings to hold from buy. Its shares gave up $1.08, or 9%, to $10.91.
Stocks soar as the gross domestic product rises at an annualized rate of 3.5% in the third quarter and continuing jobless claims fall. Gregg Greenberg recaps the action in The Real Story video (above).