PRISM Market Moves on Thursday: Alpine Immune Soars on Acquisition News; Nike Upgraded; Globe Life Falls on Fraud Allegations

US equities are trading mostly higher on Thursday at midday after Wednesday’s sharp selloff on concerns about sticky inflation. Outperformers include IT services, homebuilders, semis, airlines, and telecoms. Big tech is also mostly higher. Banks, insurers, energy, autos, credit cards, pharma, managed care, and food are faring worse. Treasuries are mixed, the Dollar index is up +0.2%, Gold is up +0.3%, Bitcoin futures are flat and WTI crude is off (1.0%).

Outperformers at midday are Alpine Immune Sciences ($ALPN) has soared +36.9% after agreeing to be acquired by Vertex Pharmaceuticals ($VRTX) for $65 a share in cash in a deal with an equity value of $4.9 billion that is expected to close in the second quarter of 2024. Paramount Global ($PARA) has risen +4.9% after a New York Times report said that holder Ariel Investments opposes the decision to enter exclusive talks with Skydance and is pushing the company to consider a $26 billion bid from Apollo Global Management ($APO). Nike ($NKE) has gained +3.3% after the company was upgraded to buy from neutral at Bank of America, and DoorDash ($DASH) is up +2.3% after being upgraded to buy from neutral at MoffettNathanson. Analysts cited an uptick in delivery adoption and consumer perceptions shifting to delivery as necessity vs luxury.

The day’s decliners are Globe Life ($GL) which has fallen (25.5%) after Fuzzy Panda Research issued a short report alleging extensive instances of insurance fraud as well as executives being involved in a bribery/kickback scheme; adds the DOJ is investigating illegal sales practices. CarMax ($KMX) has dropped (11.8%) on weak FQ4 earnings and revenue. The company cited vehicle affordability challenges and pushed out its timeline for selling 2M+ units annually to FY26-30 due to uncertainty about timing of market recovery. Gen Digital ($GEN) is down (5.9%) on being downgraded to equal weight from overweight at Barclays.

 

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PRISM Market Moves on Thursday: Alpine Immune Soars on Acquisition News; Nike Upgraded; Globe Life Falls on Fraud Allegations

Catie Corcoran

Biotech Editor