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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Stocks waver in afternoon trading following big week

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are wobbling in afternoon trading Monday as the market comes off its biggest weekly gain of the year. Pfizer and Allergan slipped after announcing a deal to combine and create the largest drug company in the world.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average lost 17 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,807 as of 1:50 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index picked up one point to 2,090. The Nasdaq composite added eight points, or 0.2 percent, to 5,113.

BIG DEAL: Pfizer, the maker of Viagra and Lipitor, plans to buy the Botox maker Allergan for about $155 billion, mostly in stock. That would be one of the largest corporate deals in history, and the biggest of the year. Just two weeks ago, Budweiser maker AB InBev agreed to buy rival beer maker SABMiller for $107 billion.

The New York-based company will gain new products that will help it counteract the expiration of the patents protecting some key drugs. Pfizer will also become based in Ireland as part of the deal, reducing its tax bill. The companies said last month that they were discussing a combination, and Allergan shares are up about 6 percent since then.

Pfizer shares slipped 59 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $31.59 and Allergan stock fell $7.21, or 2.3 percent, to $305.25.

BIG WEEK: Lifted by good news from retailers and tech stocks, the S&P 500 index rose 3.3 percent last week. That was its largest weekly gain since last December. However it wasn’t quite enough to cancel out the big loss the S&P suffered the previous week.

BIG SPENDER: Consumer discretionary stocks rose. Chipotle rebounded $25.04, or 4.7 percent, to $561.23. The stock dropped 12 percent and set an annual low Friday on reports that an E. coli outbreak linked to its restaurants had spread.

Also lifting the sector was appliance maker Whirlpool, which rose $3.03, or 1.9 percent, to $165.30.

GAMESTOP DROP: Video game retailer GameStop reported a smaller quarterly profit and less revenue than analysts had forecast. The company said sales of new games and game systems weren’t as good as it expected, and said the openings of some stores were delayed.

Investors have been worrying that the holiday shopping season could be weak this year. GameStop tumbled $3.28, or 8.4 percent, to $35.98.

OTHER WEAK SPOTS: Tech and telecom stocks struggled. Electronic Arts fell after GameStop’s announcement, losing $3.97, or 5.5 percent, to $68.45. Apple fell $1.22, or 1 percent, to $118.08.

EARNINGS: British drugmaker Mallinckrodt and food producer Tyson both climbed following solid quarterly reports. Tyson climbed $4.46, or 10.2 percent, to $48.11. Mallinckrodt gained $5.05, or 8.3 percent, to $66.05. Its shares have plunged 47 percent since early August on concerns about new regulations of drug prices, which could hurt its business.

HOME SALES SLIP: The National Association of Realtors said sales of previously-owned homes fell 3.4 percent in October as prices climbed. The group said 5.36 million homes were sold last month. Home sales have grown for much of the year, but prices have risen faster than the wages of prospective buyers and the number of listings on the market has slipped. Prices were up 5.8 percent compared to October 2014.

METAL MAKER: Alcoa rose after the hedge fund Elliott Management disclosed that it has bought a 6.4 percent stake in the maker of aluminum and other metals. Alcoa stock picked up 47 cents, or 5.4 percent, to $9.17.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 20 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $41.72 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, rose 19 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $44.81 a barrel in London.

METALS: Metals prices are mired in a slump that has taken them to their lowest prices in six years. That continued Monday, as gold fell $9.50, or 0.9 percent, to $1,066.80 an ounce and silver lost six cents, or 0.5 percent, to $14.03 an ounce. Copper slid 3.4 cents, or 1.7 percent, $2.02 per pound.

BONDS, CURRENCIES: U.S. government bond prices rose slightly. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.24 percent from 2.26 percent. The dollar rose to 122.89 yen from 122.84 yen. The euro declined to $1.0613 from $1.0657 Friday.

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