Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Today's Headlines

  • European Stocks Advance as FTSE 100 Caps Record Winning Streak. European stocks ended the session higher amid gains in miners and energy shares, while comments by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump weighed on drugmakers. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.2 percent at the close, erasing an early decline of as much as 0.3 percent. Health-care stocks fell the most among sectors after Trump saidin his first press conference as U.S. President-elect that he’d force the industry to bid for government business.
  • Long-Short Hedge Funds Are Ditching the Shorts to Focus on Longs. What happens when you take the “short” out of a long-short trading strategy? Some hedge funds are about to find out. Equity long-short fund managers, the biggest category in hedge funds, hold the fewest bearish stock bets on record, data compiled by Credit Suisse Group AG show. The shift reflects their abysmal performance in 2016, when the S&P 500 advanced 9.5 percent as the long-short managers tracked by Credit Suisse fell 4.3 percent, their worst year since 2011.
  • Drug Stocks Plunge as Trump Threatens to Force Price Bidding. (video) Pharmaceutical and biotech stocks plummeted Wednesday as President-elect Donald Trump said he’d force the industry to bid for government business in order to save the government billions of dollars. “They are getting away with murder. Pharma has a lot of lobbyists and a lot of power and there is very little bidding,” Trump said at a press conference in New York. “We’re the largest buyer of drugs in the world and yet we don’t bid properly and we’re going to save billions of dollars.” The industry is the latest victim to a president who has made a habit of negotiating with industries via Twitter. The Nasdaq Biotechnology Index fell 2.6 percent at 11:28 a.m. in New York, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology & Life Sciences Index was down 1.7 percent.
  • Suddenly, Home Sale Agreements Are Falling Apart Across the U.S. The share of sales that failed to close doubled in 2016, and nobody knows why. Spending months to find the perfect home in your price range, only to have your mortgage application rejected, or a home inspection turn up expensive repairs, is a nightmare—one that is coming true with increasing frequency, according to a new report from real estate listings website Trulia. A Trulia analysis of U.S. listings shows that 3.9 percent of homes that moved from for-sale to pending moved back to for-sale again, nearly double the rate in 2015. Such “failed sales” increased in 96 of the 100 biggest U.S. metros, with big swings in areas large and small, rich and poor. That includes Los Angeles and Charleston, S.C., as well as San Jose and Akron, Ohio.
Wall Street Journal:
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