Vertex gets lift: Vertex Pharmaceuticals jumped 5.8 percent Thursday after Wells Fargo analyst Brian Abrahams wrote in a note that one of the company’s drugs may get early approval. Investor attention is now focusing on Vertex’s cystic fibrosis drug Kalydeco/VX-809, Abrahams wrote. The stock fell a bit Friday to close at $126.34
Mining woes: Joy Global, the world’s largest maker of underground mining machinery, fell 5.2 percent Thursday to its lowest point in more than five years after cutting full-year earnings and sales forecasts following commodity-price declines. Many of its customers had production shutdowns during the first quarter. It ended the week at $39.05
Ford’s fizzle: Ford’s U.S. sales fell 1.9 percent last month as dealers lacked the inventory to meet demand for the new F-150 pickup truck. Its stock dropped 2.5 percent Tuesday, to $16.14. It closed the week at $15.93. General Motors and Chrysler reported gains, but they were smaller than expected. Freezing temperatures and snow kept buyers away from dealers.
Springleaf leaps: Personal finance company Springleaf Holdings rose 28 percent Tuesday, to $48.68 after it said it would buy Citigroup’s OneMain Financial for $4.25 billion. OneMain provides personal loans at more than 1,100 branches across 43 states. Springleaf shares closed the week at $48.59.
Dividend hike: Best Buy gained 2 percent Tuesday, to $39.39 after it said it would raise its dividend 21 percent and give shareholders an additional one-time payment. The company also reported fourth-quarter earnings that were higher than financial analysts had expected. Best Buy finished the week at $39.71.
Melting, melting: Alcoa’s stock dropped 6 percent, to $14.22 Wednesday following news that analysts at Bank of America cut their ratings on the aluminum giant amid concern that prices for aluminum will soften as China increases its exports. Alcoa shares closed at $14.48 on Friday.