Advil meets Excedrin; SoftBank IPO; Fed meeting

1. Advil meets Excedrin: GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer are combining their consumer healthcare...

Posted: Dec 19, 2018 12:05 PM
Updated: Dec 19, 2018 12:05 PM

1. Advil meets Excedrin: GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer are combining their consumer healthcare businesses in a multibillion-dollar merger.

The two pharmaceutical giants — which own household brands like Advil and Tums — said in a statement Wednesday that the new company would have combined sales of $12.7 billion a year.

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Britain's GSK (GSK) will control just over two-thirds of the joint venture, with US-based Pfizer (PFE) holding the rest.

After the tie-up, GSK said it plans to split in two by spinning off the new consumer healthcare business and listing it in London within three years. GSK's remaining operations will be focused on making prescription medicines and vaccines.

Shares in GSK gained 7% in London.

2. Bad day for SoftBank: SoftBank's blockbuster IPO has flopped in its market debut.

Shares in the Japanese company's mobile telecommunications unit plunged 15% in Tokyo on their first day of trading.

SoftBank Group (SFTBY) raised about $23.5 billion by listing the wireless carrier. That makes it Japan's biggest ever stock float — and the world's largest since Alibaba's (BABA) $25 billion listing in New York in 2014.

Strong demand from investors for a piece of the mobile business had prompted SoftBank to increase the number of shares it was selling.

But it went public at a tough time for stocks: Japan's benchmark Nikkei index has fallen more than 6% since the start of December and is down about 13% from its recent high in early October.

3. Fed watch: The US Federal Reserve is expected to hike interest rates for the fourth time this year when its Federal Open Market Committee meets Wednesday.

A rate hike was long seen as a given, but new signs of economic softening and weeks of market volatility have shaken the broad consensus that rates must go up.

However, a deviation from the plan could spark another sell-off by stoking concerns that even the Fed thinks the economy is turning south.

It could also lead to worries that the central bank is bowing to the pressure from President Donald Trump, who has made clear that he opposes higher interest rates.

Watch CNN Business 'Markets Now' today at 12:45 p.m. ET

4. Global market overview: US stock futures were pointing higher. European markets opened mixed, following the trend set in Asia.

The Dow closed 0.4% higher on Tuesday. The S&P 500 was flat and the Nasdaq gained 0.5%.

US crude futures plunged 7% on Tuesday to $46.24 a barrel, the lowest close since August 2017. The decline continued overnight, with prices reaching just above $46 early.

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5. Companies and economics: General Mills (GIS) will report earnings before the open. Pier 1 Imports (PIR) and Rite Aid (RAD) are set to follow after the close.

Facebook (FB) is facing yet another headache after the New York Times reported the social media company offered more of its users' data to companies including Microsoft (MSFT) and Amazon (AMZN) than it has admitted. The Times said it obtained documents that provided insights into the social network's data-sharing arrangements with more than 150 companies.

A report on US existing home sales for November will be published at 10 a.m. ET.

6. Coming this week:
Wednesday — General Mills (GIS) earnings; Fed decision on interest rates
Thursday — Nike (NKE), Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) and Blackberry (BB) earnings; Bank of England meeting
Friday — Carmax (KMX) earnings; GDP third estimate.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 313166

Reported Deaths: 7228
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21496257
Hinds20294414
Harrison17814309
Rankin13573278
Jackson13411246
Madison10066217
Lee9962173
Jones8364163
Forrest7649152
Lauderdale7181240
Lowndes6370145
Lamar621686
Lafayette6171118
Washington5323133
Bolivar4797132
Oktibbeha461498
Panola4561105
Pearl River4499145
Marshall4397103
Warren4380121
Pontotoc419572
Monroe4100133
Union409076
Neshoba4026176
Lincoln3950110
Hancock377786
Leflore3487125
Sunflower335790
Tate332484
Pike3301105
Scott315373
Alcorn311968
Yazoo310769
Itawamba299477
Copiah296465
Simpson294788
Coahoma294379
Tippah287768
Prentiss279560
Adams269582
Marion268880
Leake266273
Wayne262341
Grenada260386
Covington256381
George246848
Newton246061
Winston226881
Tishomingo225967
Jasper220848
Attala214173
Chickasaw207157
Holmes188673
Clay184754
Stone182033
Tallahatchie178140
Clarke177879
Calhoun170132
Yalobusha163337
Smith162234
Walthall133845
Greene130333
Lawrence128323
Montgomery126742
Noxubee126734
Perry125938
Amite122842
Carroll121728
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis106932
Tunica104826
Claiborne102230
Benton99125
Humphreys96133
Kemper95428
Franklin83623
Quitman80216
Choctaw76118
Wilkinson66930
Jefferson65428
Sharkey50317
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 530988

Reported Deaths: 10978
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson765291522
Mobile40971804
Madison34751503
Tuscaloosa25775452
Montgomery24329589
Shelby23431249
Baldwin21131308
Lee15884171
Calhoun14501314
Morgan14293279
Etowah13831353
Marshall12222223
Houston10567281
Elmore10061205
Limestone9960151
Cullman9664193
St. Clair9655243
Lauderdale9424241
DeKalb8830186
Talladega8223176
Walker7235277
Autauga6920108
Jackson6810112
Blount6660137
Colbert6298134
Coffee5511119
Dale4831111
Russell441138
Chilton4290112
Franklin425782
Covington4121118
Tallapoosa4027152
Escambia393376
Chambers3563123
Dallas3551151
Clarke351061
Marion3118101
Pike310877
Lawrence300298
Winston274472
Bibb260764
Geneva249977
Marengo249764
Pickens234461
Barbour230857
Hale222977
Butler215969
Fayette212362
Henry188744
Cherokee184845
Randolph180241
Monroe177440
Washington167339
Macon159150
Clay156256
Crenshaw152257
Cleburne148941
Lamar142535
Lowndes138853
Wilcox127130
Bullock123041
Conecuh110529
Perry107726
Coosa107228
Sumter104532
Greene92334
Choctaw60624
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