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Big moves in Pharma; McDonald's earnings; Gas prices on the rise

Hot Stock Minute

There are big moves in the pharmaceutical sector this morning. Swiss drug giant Novartis (NVS), Britain's GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and U.S.-Eli Lilly (LLY) announced a series of deals and joint ventures. Novartis is selling Glaxo its oncology business for $14.5 billion and its vaccines business for $5 billion. The two companies will also form a joint venture to create a consumer drug giant. And Eli Lilly will buy Novartis' animal health unit for $5 billion.

Separately, Bill Ackman's Pershing Square and Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) announced a bid for Botox maker, Allergan (AGN). The cash and stock deal could be worth about $45 billion. Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management is Allergan’s largest shareholder, with 9.7% of the company’s stock.

This flurry of big pharma deals follows yesterday's reports of a possible $100 billion merger between Pfizer (PFE) and AstraZeneca (AZN)

Some of the other stocks the Yahoo Finance team will be watching for you today include McDonald’s (MCD). The company came up short of expectations in its latest quarterly results before the opening bell. Earnings missed Wall Street estimates by $0.03 a share. Revenue rose 1.4% year over year, but just missed estimates. McDonald's has been facing rising competition, notably from Taco Bell and its new breakfast campaign which takes direct aim at McDonald's.

Netflix (NFLX) reported strong earnings after the close yesterday. Netflix earned $0.86 a share, beating analysts' estimates of $0.83. Revenue rose 24%. Netflix, which now has 34 million paid subscribers in the U.S. and more than 48 million worldwide, said it will increase the price of its streaming service by a dollar or two later this quarter.

Meanwhile, Netflix came out against the proposed merger of Comcast (CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (TWC), saying the new company would have "anti-competitive leverage" with 60% of the country's broadband Internet homes.

In another battle over the airwaves, the Supreme Court today hears arguments over video startup Aereo. The case could have sweeping implications for the broadcast networks, new technology and the way people watch television. Aereo uses tiny antennas to access free TV signals and then stream them to mobile phones and tablets of paying subscribers. The broadcast networks argue that Aereo violates the Copyright Act by providing a “public performance” of the programming the networks produce.

And brace for rising prices at the pump this summer. Gasoline prices are up 4% in the last month alone, according to AAA. Even as prices are rising, so are U.S. gasoline exports. The Wall Street Journal reported that gasoline exports are up 25% this year over last year, as demand for U.S. gasoline exports rises.

Poll: Should the U.S. reduce gasoline exports in response to rising prices at home? Cast your vote and post your comments as well.