Market Focus with Tom Hudson – Thursday, Mar 8, 2012

TOM HUDSON: Well, if you missed it, over the past couple of sessions, the major
stock indices have really made up most of what was lost during that big
sell-off earlier this week. In fact, looking at the S&P 500 over just the
past five sessions shows that stiff sell-off on Monday. But those losses
have essentially been erased by the close this afternoon, with today’s
almost 1 percent gain on top of the gains we saw yesterday.

And with that optimism regarding Greece’s bailout, the materials and
industrial stock sectors led the gainers, but we also saw the more
traditional defensive health care sector add more than 1 percent.

Fueling the health care gains was an interesting mix of companies
here. Medical device-maker Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) rallied 3.5

Medicine supply company McKesson (NYSE:MCK) jumped 3 percent. That’s
its highest close since late May.

And bio-pharmaceutical firm Biogen Idec (NASDAQ:BIIB) closed just shy
of a new high, up by almost 3 percent, over $120 per share.

Speaking of health care, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) has been
battling against lots of drug recalls over manufacturing issues in the last
several months. Today, it got some encouraging news on the drug front, a
new medicine improved the survival of men with prostate cancer who hadn’t
undergone chemotherapy. Now shares took the news and gained just a
fraction on the day. They haven’t be able to pierce $66 per share since
the summertime sell-off.

The JNJ news pushed around others in the prostate medicine business,
though. Medivation (NASDAQ:MDVN) jumped 14 percent on big volume for MDVN.
It’s co-developing a similar treatment to JNJ’s.

But Dendreon (NASDAQ:DNDN) fell 7 percent as its Provenge prostate
cancer drug may see some new competition in the months ahead.

Also in the world of new competition, Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) late
today unveiled a new single-serve coffee system. The single-cup brewery
business has been growing very strong and it presents a pretty wide profit
margin for these companies. Shares of SBUX, S-B-U-X, were up about 2
percent. But the after the close, it was a new high for the stock, coming
on heavy volume as well, big after the market buying.

Look for it to build tomorrow with the stock adding another 3.5
percent after the close today, trading around $52 per share in after hours

Now it presents a big new challenger for Green Mountain Coffee
Roasters (NASDAQ:GMCR). Shares fell 2 percent during the session, but
watch out, it plummeted 20 percent after the closing bell, falling to
around $50. Green Mountain, of course, is the leader in the single-serve
coffee biz; and now it will face off against Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX).

The shortest month of the year failed to keep up with growth
expectations at the Golden Arches. McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) same-store sales
rose 7.5 percent, sounds like a big number, but it was less than what
analysts were expecting. The restaurant pointed to smaller government
budgets in Europe and inflationary pressures in the U.S. for coming up
short. Volume quadrupled today as shares fell 3 percent, down to a three-
month low.

And finally, American taxpayers own a little bit less of AIG tonight.
The Treasury Department sold part of its stake in the company, selling at
$29 per share. And this stock price did weigh on — this new supply,
rather, weighed on the stock today, falling almost 4 percent.

By selling at $29, the price effectively paid by the government
bailout was $28.73 per share. So a bit of a profit.

That is tonight’s “Market Focus.”

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