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Pre-Markets Up, GE Sells Off Biopharma Biz

Mark Vickery
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Monday, February 25, 2019

We kick off a new week of trading with continued optimism regarding U.S.-China trade talks. Yesterday, President Trump announced he will again postpone the tariff hike on Chinese goods coming into the U.S. from 10% to 25%. After citing “very productive talks” with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trump hopes to conclude a new trade deal at his “Winter White House” in Mar-a-Lago, Florida at an unspecified time in the near future.

Overnight, the Shanghai Composite rose 5.6% on this news, with the Shenzhen index up 5.4%. This has brought U.S. index futures up into the green in today’s pre-market, with the Dow +150 points, the Nasdaq +54 and the S&P 500 +14.5 at this hour. The S&P is looking to cross back over 2800 for the first time since early November of last year, and is currently +11.4% year to date as of Friday’s close. The Dow is +11.5% since 2019 began and the Nasdaq is +12.9% over the same time frame.

GE Sells Biopharma Unit for $21.4 Billion

General Electric GE
has sold its biopharmaceutical unit to Danaher DHR for $21.4 billion, in a move that will help the giant conglomerate continue to pay down debt. The move, led by GE CEO Larry Culp — who used to be CEO of Danaher — comes as something of a surprise; earlier expectations was for an IPO spin-off of GE’s biopharma wing along with its entire healthcare unit. Traders appear to like this deal very much: not only are GE shares up 14% following the announcement, but Danaher has gained over 5% in today’s pre-market as well.

Late last year, GE’s share price slipped all the way to $7 per share, to their lowest depths in more than 25 years. Since then, perceptions of the company’s board taking responsibility to address difficult changes — first with CEO John Flannery and Culp as of 4 months ago — have improved the company’s situation greatly. Based on where this news has brought shares in today’s pre-market, GE stock is up near 45% year to date. GE shares currently carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Mark Vickery
Senior Editor

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