Health stocks reflected varied news on the Monday after the July Fourth holiday, from unfavorable trial results, side effects and cost-effectiveness assessments as well analyst notes. Teva ( TEVA) skidded after the company said that according to top-line results of a trial dubbed "FORTE" the higher, 40mg dose of Copaxone was no more effective than the already FDA-approved 20mg dose in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Teva shares fell $4.54, or 9.6%, to $42.66. The stock is a component of the Amex pharmaceutical index, which was down 5.74, or 1.9%, at 293.79. Incidentally, the only stock component of the pharmaceutical index that wasn't in the red Monday afternoon was pharma player Wyeth ( WYE). Its shares were up 52 cents, or 1.1%, at $47.51. The company said in a release on July 3 (the last regular trading day prior to Monday) that it received European approval to market Relistor subcutaneous injection for pain-killer-induced constipation in patients with advanced illness who are receiving palliative care when typical laxative therapy is insufficient. One stock bucking downward trends, APP Pharmaceuticals ( APPX) rocketed $5.27, or 30%, to $23.09 after German health care company Frenenius said it will buy the Schaumburg, Ill., drugmaker for $3.7 billion, or roughly $23 a share, a 29% premium to APP's closing price on Thursday. Meanwhile, a medical expert panel that advises European regulators preliminarily concluded that GlaxoSmithKline's ( GSK) Tyverb is not a cost-effective treatment for breast cancer. The drug, which has received conditional approval in Europe, has to receive full government approval in order to be available to all patients at subsidized rates. Glaxo shares were down $1.01, or 2.2%, at $45.76. Also on the decline, Genentech ( DNA) gave up $2.43, or 3.1%, to $75.51 on unconfirmed cases of PML, a deadly brain infection, in rheumatoid arthritis patients treated with Rituxan, as mentioned in a Leerink Swann report. PML is listed on the drug's label as a possible side effect.
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).