Market Focus

Comcast, Charter Communications & Time Warner Cable

Comcast and Charter Communications are reportedly nearing a deal to buy Time Warner Cable assets. Charter has agreed in principle to sell some of Time Warner Cable’s assets to Comcast, but only if it succeeds in buying Time Warner Cable. The deal to sell of some assets would give Charter additional funds to complete the takeover of the cable company. Shares of Comcast were up slightly to $52.49, shares of Charter surged four percent to $136.92 and shares of Time Warner Cable fell a little to $133.45.

Pfizer

Pfizer’s experimental lung cancer drug failed to meet its goals in two late-stage trials. Patients given the drug did not show improved survival without the disease progressing. The results disappointed investors. Shares fell nearly 1.5% to $29.66.

Merck

Shares of Merck hit a record high after Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock to “overweight” from “underweight.” The analyst there said the company’s prospects for a new cancer drug have improved and could bring more than $6 billion in annual sales by 2020. The drug maker’s stock rose one percent to $52.53.

Cisco

Cisco’s rating was downgraded by JP Morgan Chase from “neutral” to “underweight.” The firm cited Cisco’s high valuation as well as weakness in emerging markets. Shares slipped a fraction to $22.

AT&T 

AT&T told British regulators it won’t be making a near-term big for European telecom giant Vodafone. Now that AT&T has denied takeover bid it must wait six months if it decides to make a buyout offer for the company according to U.K. takeover rules. Shares of AT&T rose slightly to $33.51.

Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean posted and earnings beat thanks to improved ticket sales. The cruise operator also gave investors a rosy full-year outlook despite a recent illness outbreak that affected 600 passenger on ones of its ships. Shares were up nearly two percent to $48.04.

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