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Dow Closes at Record High On Relatively Quiet Day

Dan Berman
Hot Stock Minute

The Dow climbed higher hitting a record close for the index despite the fact it was a relatively quiet day for traders due to the Veterans Day holiday.  There was a lull in earnings season and the government didn't release any economic data either. The rest of the week promises to bring more excitement with earnings reports from retailers like Wal-Mart and Macy's. On Thursday, Federal Reserve Chair Nominee Janet Yellen will have her confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Banking Committee.

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Pennsylvania-based ViroPharma (VPHM) skyrocketed more than 25% to nearly $50 which is the price at which Britain's Shire (SHPG) says it wants to acquire the company. Both ViroPharma and Shire specialize in medicines to treat rare diseases. ViroPharma's portfolio includes Cinryze, which is used to prevent and treat attacks of a rare genetic disorder called hereditary angioedema. It also makes the seizure drug Buccolam and the antibiotic Vancocin. The deal is valued t $4.2-billion.

Meanwhile, Spain-based Grifols (GRFS) climbed more than 4% on news that it is purchasing part of the diagnostics unit currently owned by Novartis (NVS). The Swiss pharma giant has been looking to unload some of its businesses under a new CEO who took over in August. Under the agreement, Grifols will be paying $1.7-billion for the operation.

Deepwater drilling company Transocean (RIG) climbed more than 3% on a deal with activist investor Carl Icahn. The company has agreed to pay a dividend and reduce the number of board seats while backing candidates who have Icahn's support. Icahn currently holds about 6% of all outstanding shares in the company. The 77-year old billionaire helped announce the developments in a tweet that read, "Great news for Transocean and activism today."

Twitter (TWTR) reversed higher today, climbing 3% after dipping more than a percent in intraday trading. The move higher today followed a slide of 7.24% on Friday. Twitter popped 73% on Thursday when the company made its market debut.

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