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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: 515504

Reported Deaths: 10296
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34999558
DeSoto33360432
Hinds32743643
Jackson24906392
Rankin22565405
Lee16455245
Madison14954283
Jones14158248
Forrest13834260
Lauderdale12311323
Lowndes11357193
Lamar10693140
Pearl River9748244
Lafayette8868143
Hancock7849132
Washington7559169
Oktibbeha7229138
Monroe7068179
Pontotoc7033110
Warren6885178
Panola6791135
Neshoba6744210
Marshall6707142
Bolivar6468151
Union643598
Pike5942157
Alcorn5921107
Lincoln5540136
George510680
Prentiss508285
Tippah495683
Itawamba4884107
Scott478999
Tate4777117
Adams4776125
Leflore4749144
Copiah458195
Yazoo458092
Simpson4566117
Wayne443472
Covington434895
Sunflower4319106
Marion4295112
Coahoma4244110
Leake414191
Newton396182
Tishomingo386894
Grenada3789109
Stone366166
Jasper341266
Attala340490
Chickasaw318367
Winston318392
Clay312978
Clarke301695
Calhoun286850
Holmes272889
Smith270552
Yalobusha244947
Tallahatchie232353
Greene225149
Walthall222166
Lawrence220242
Perry214556
Amite210357
Webster206548
Noxubee188843
Montgomery182157
Carroll175441
Jefferson Davis174343
Tunica163539
Benton153139
Kemper145441
Choctaw137027
Claiborne134839
Humphreys132239
Franklin126530
Quitman107828
Wilkinson106139
Jefferson97134
Sharkey65321
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 847659

Reported Deaths: 16172
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1163752005
Mobile743371381
Madison53434738
Shelby38413371
Baldwin38171589
Tuscaloosa36131643
Montgomery34571782
Lee25664264
Calhoun22622519
Morgan22527408
Etowah20059520
Marshall18821318
Houston17769426
St. Clair16946359
Limestone16192220
Cullman16140305
Elmore15948295
Lauderdale15055307
Talladega14244302
DeKalb13061271
Walker12138380
Blount10765193
Autauga10545157
Jackson10204195
Coffee9435192
Colbert9363210
Dale9038192
Tallapoosa7283202
Russell710165
Chilton7078170
Covington6967197
Escambia6962144
Franklin6364108
Chambers5795142
Marion5435130
Dallas5302210
Pike5128109
Clarke485686
Lawrence4845130
Winston4785110
Geneva4650136
Bibb435495
Barbour370180
Butler3444101
Marengo342793
Monroe338366
Randolph337767
Pickens334790
Fayette331485
Henry321066
Cherokee319964
Hale318889
Crenshaw261678
Washington256852
Cleburne255460
Lamar253555
Clay252069
Macon245767
Conecuh193562
Coosa185847
Wilcox178338
Lowndes178268
Bullock152745
Perry141840
Sumter139741
Greene130345
Choctaw94328
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