Stocks Flirt With All-Time Highs on Earnings, Deals News

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks climbed Tuesday amid pharmaceutical deals headlines and better-than-expected existing-home sales.

Netflix (NFLX) was popping after its quarterly earnings call, contributing to sharp gains in the Nasdaq.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.4% to 16,514.37, the S&P 500 added 0.51% to 1,879.55 and the Nasdaq rose 0.97% to 4,161.46.

  • In deal news, Novartis (NVS), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Eli Lilly (LLY) have entered into a multibillion-dollar deal. Novartis shares increased 1.3% and GlaxoSmithKline jumped 4.1%. Eli Lilly was drifting lower.
  • Allergan (AGN) soared 15.3% and Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) advanced 7.5% on news that Valeant is seeking to buy Allergan for an estimated $45 billion.
  • Existing-home sales for March fell 0.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 4.59 million, vs. the expected 4.55 million. The Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index rose 0.6% in February, up from a downwardly revised 0.4% the prior month.
  • Netflix spiked 7% after announcing earnings of 86 cents a share, 3 cents higher than estimates, and $1.27 billion in revenue. The streaming giant also said it plans to raise prices by $1 or $2 per month to fund its library expansion.
  • Comcast (CMCSA) earned 68 cents a share, 4 cents higher than estimates as the Sochi Olympics broadcasts boosted the bottom line. Shares popped 1.9%.
  • European markets moved higher, boosted by M&A movement in the pharmaceutical sector. London's FTSE moved 0.85% higher, Germany's DAX was up 2.02%, and France's CAC 40 gained 1.18%.
  • Japan's Nikkei closed 0.85% lower to 14,388.77 as Japanese companies prepare to report earnings and issue guidance for the fiscal year ending March 2015.
  • On Monday, U.S. stock indices closed modestly higher, with the S&P 500 booking a five-day winning streak.

-- Written by Andrea Tse and Joe Deaux in New York.

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