9:40 AM New York – U.S. indexes gained after initial weekly jobless claims fell 27,000 to 365,000 and worker productivity decreased in the first quarter. Novartis agreed to acquire Fougera Pharmaceuticals for $1.525 billion. General Motors quarterly earnings plummeted 69% but Visa net soared 47%.
U.S. indexes gained after initial weekly jobless claims dropped more than estimated and worker productivity slid in the first quarter.
In the earnings front, Visa profit soared 47% and General Motors quarterly earnings plummeted 69%.
The European indexes climbed after France and Spain successfully completed the bond offerings and BMW, Hermes, HeidelbergCement, Hannover Re and Societe Generale reported better than expected net incomes.
The European Central Bank policymakers in a meeting in Barcelona, Spain decided to leave its key interest rate unchanged at a record low 1% for the fifth consecutive month in May.
France raised €7.43 billion at lower borrowing costs and Spain sold €2.52 billion of debt at higher borrowing costs today.
Novartis agreed to acquire Fougera Pharmaceuticals for $1.525 billion and DSM agreed to acquire Kensey Nash to strengthen its biomedical business.
Asian markets declined tracking weak U.S. and European indexes.
U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Drop
New seasonally adjusted weekly jobless claims in the U.S. for the week ending April 28 fell 27,000 to 365,000 from the previous week''s revised figure of 392,000, according to data released by the U.S. Labor Department today.
The total number of people claiming unemployment benefits dropped 53,000 to a seasonally adjusted level of 3.276 million for the week ending April 21.
U.S. Non-farm Worker Productivity Falls
U.S worker productivity decreased in the first quarter of 2012 as productivity increases were outpaced by the number of hours worked, according to data released by the U.S. Labor Department today.
Output at non-farm businesses rose 2.7% and that coupled with a 3.2% increase in hours worked, resulted in a 0.5% decline in labor productivity.
Novartis to Acquire Fougera
Novartis agreed to acquire U.S.-based specialty dermatology generics company Fougera Pharmaceuticals for $1.525 billion in an all-cash transaction.
The acquired company will be merged with Sandoz, the generic pharmaceuticals division of Novartis.
DSM to Buy Kensey Nash
Royal DSM, the global life sciences and materials sciences company entered into an agreement to acquire Kensey Nash through a cash tender offer, followed by a merger with a subsidiary of DSM, for $38.50 in cash per share for total enterprise value of approximately $360 million.
The agreed price represents a premium of 33% to Kensey Nash’s closing share price of $29.01 on May 2.