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.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 755401

Reported Deaths: 8531
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1513291905
Ramsey62614972
Dakota56158520
Anoka53010513
Washington33145327
Stearns27922252
St. Louis23178352
Scott21316159
Wright20879170
Olmsted17821118
Sherburne15232111
Carver1336954
Clay1006598
Rice9855131
Blue Earth949559
Crow Wing9254105
Kandiyohi819195
Chisago816662
Otter Tail7807104
Benton7363108
Beltrami633276
Mower631740
Douglas616189
Goodhue603683
Winona603653
Itasca596978
McLeod580868
Steele572425
Isanti558172
Morrison541565
Becker518762
Polk502577
Freeborn480842
Nobles477052
Lyon444456
Carlton438666
Nicollet423051
Pine419930
Cass413142
Mille Lacs403565
Brown398846
Todd389336
Le Sueur378331
Meeker350452
Waseca322629
Martin316534
Wabasha28495
Hubbard283644
Dodge26819
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Fillmore236312
Redwood234143
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Houston229017
Renville224249
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Pennington213227
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Cottonwood193027
Kanabec187130
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Aitkin178442
Watonwan168711
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Rock153219
Yellow Medicine151120
Jackson144114
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Swift132619
Pipestone131627
Marshall131419
Murray131310
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Lake106221
Wilkin100214
Lac qui Parle95024
Mahnomen86312
Norman8459
Big Stone7874
Grant7669
Lincoln7525
Kittson59522
Red Lake5769
Unassigned528124
Traverse5005
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Cook2420

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 467281

Reported Deaths: 6685
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk73698716
Linn28680379
Scott24441271
Black Hawk20130355
Woodbury18854242
Johnson17800100
Dubuque15577228
Pottawattamie14073197
Dallas13894107
Story1275148
Warren763496
Webster6876111
Cerro Gordo6816107
Clinton6814100
Des Moines657893
Marshall635484
Muscatine6294113
Wapello5807136
Jasper571478
Lee560787
Sioux560276
Marion499791
Buena Vista489745
Plymouth459187
Henry378647
Jones365160
Washington362255
Bremer353867
Benton352056
Boone344837
Carroll341753
Crawford337345
Mahaska313656
Dickinson297651
Clay274631
Buchanan274239
Jackson270445
Kossuth269373
Hardin266448
Tama261476
Fayette253848
Delaware253444
Cedar246326
Page244827
Wright240945
Winneshiek230837
Hamilton228553
Floyd216744
Harrison215277
Madison214325
Clayton210058
Poweshiek206840
Iowa204229
Butler203237
Jefferson197340
Mills197227
Allamakee192952
Cherokee191943
Lyon190641
Cass190557
Winnebago185432
Hancock184739
Calhoun184115
Appanoose175950
Shelby174239
Louisa169651
Grundy167937
Emmet163842
Franklin163328
Humboldt161826
Mitchell161843
Union159437
Chickasaw156418
Sac156323
Guthrie154034
Palo Alto140831
Clarke140028
Montgomery138941
Keokuk137534
Monroe131534
Howard125422
Ida116641
Davis113825
Greene113712
Lucas112224
Pocahontas109323
Monona107436
Worth10678
Adair103634
Osceola91117
Fremont83711
Van Buren82721
Decatur81212
Taylor78612
Wayne72024
Ringgold66827
Audubon64514
Adams4984
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