Market Focus


Goldman Sachs upgraded Alcoa to a “buy” sending shares of the aluminum maker higher. The analyst said Alcoa’s aluminum business is under-appreciated and noted its improving cost structure as reasons why the stock got bumped up to a “buy” from a “neutral” rating. Shares rose almost 4% to $9.59.


Bank of America Merill Lynch upgraded shares of Caterpillar to a “buy” from a “neutral.” The analyst says Caterpillar’s power systems business will support earnings for 2014, despite weakness in mining and construction. That sent shares of the Dow component up almost 2% to $84.40.


Microsoft said it sold more than 1 million Xbox One consoles on the device’s first day on the market. That sales figure matched Sony’s first day sales of its PlayStation 4 device, which hit shelves a week earlier and was 100 dollars cheaper. Shares of Microsoft were slightly higher to $37.64.


Talk-show host Katie Couric is joining Yahoo as the tech company’s “Global News Anchor.” The move is an attempt by Yahoo to expand its audience and sell more advertising. Shares of Yahoo initially popped to multi-year highs on the news, but ended the day lower to $36.29.


Blackberry announced more shake ups to its management team. Its Chief Operating, Chief Financial and Chief Marketing Officers are leaving the struggling smart-phone company. The news comes just weeks after the CEO was replaced and the company took itself off the market. The stock rose slightly to $6.25.


Shares of the drug maker Orexigen Therapeutics surged today after it reported good news about its weight-loss treatment. The company said its drug, Contrave, performed well in its latest study and didn’t increase a patients heart-attack risk. Orexigen plans to resubmit the treatment for regulatory approval in coming weeks. The stock climbed more than 9% to $6.21.

Davita Healthcare & Fresenius Medical Care

News that the U.S. Government won’t cut medicare and medicade as much as expected this year sent shares of Davita Healthcare and Fresenius Medical Care higher. Both companies provide kidney dialysis and medicare covers most payments for those treatments. Davita shares were up almost 9% to $61.55. Fresenius shares also jumped up 7% to $34.54.


The Food and Drug Administration has done a u-turn regarding a diabetes drug that one had sales of $3 billion a year. The F.D.A. has removed some restrictions on the GlaxoSmithKlein medication Avandia, saying it no longer has serious concerns over the drug’s heart-attack risks. This means more doctors can prescribe Avandia to more patients. Shares fell 1% to $52.82.

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