Kidney cancer drug gets expanded approval
Federal health regulators have expanded approval of a cancer drug from Bristol-Myers Squibb to treat an advanced form of kidney cancer. The Food and Drug Administration says the injectable-drug, Opdivo, is approved for patients with renal cell carcinoma who have previously tried certain other drugs. More than 14,000 U.S. patients are expected to die from kidney and pelvis cancer this year, according to the National Cancer Institute. Patients taking Opdivo lived 25 months, or about five months longer, than patients treated with an older drug. The FDA first approved Opdivo for melanoma last December. Opdivo is part of a new class of drugs that work by blocking a protein that prevents the body's immune system from attacking cancer cells. Similar drugs include Yervoy, also from Bristol-Myers and Merck's Keytruda.
Home sales fall off nationally in October
Fewer Americans bought homes in October, a sign that rising home values may be pushing more would-be buyers to the real estate market's sidelines. The National Association of Realtors said Monday that sales of existing homes fell 3.4 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.36 million. The decline comes after strong growth in homebuying for much of 2015, bolstered by steady job gains and low mortgage rates. Home purchases have advanced 3.9 percent from a year ago, even as buyers have fewer choices because the number of listings on the market has dropped 4.5 percent. But last month suggested the start of a reflexive backlash after the strong gains in homebuying.
Yellen defends Fed's low-rates policies
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen says while many savers have been frustrated by years of low interest rates, they were needed to boost the economy after the Great Recession. In a letter to consumer advocate Ralph Nader, Yellen says the low rates helped create millions of jobs by lowering borrowing costs for businesses and consumers. The Fed has indicated it may soon be ready to begin raising rates. Yellen reiterates that subsequent rate hikes will be gradual. Yellen was responding to a letter from Nader, who said he was writing on behalf of frustrated savers who have been getting near zero interest on their savings accounts.
Investor Icahn puts the squeeze on AIG
Activist investor Carl Icahn is putting more pressure on American International Group Inc. to break itself into three separate companies. Icahn said Monday on his website that after speaking with AIG CEO Peter Hancock several times, Hancock remains unwilling to split the insurer up. Icahn vowed to reach out to shareholders directly and said he may propose adding a new director who would agree to succeed Hancock as CEO if asked by the board to do so. AIG said Monday that it is maintaining an "active dialogue" with Icahn. AIG said that it has considered breaking the company up, but that the maneuver "did not make financial sense." Last month, Icahn said AIG was "too big to succeed," a play on the phrase "too big to fail," which was used during the financial crisis to explain why the government was forced to prevent the total collapse of AIG.
Cabela's attracting some buyout interest
Cabela's Inc. is attracting takeover interest at a per-share price range in the $50s, people familiar with the discussions said. Though Cabela's sales and profit growth have sputtered, shareholders such as London Co. of Virginia and the Matthew 25 Fund — owners of an almost 7 percent stake combined — see a strong brand with long-term expansion prospects. The chain, which sells hunting and camping supplies, has a total market value of $3.2 billion. Mark Mulholland, who runs the Matthew 25 Fund, said he would refuse anything below $72 a share if there's a takeover attempt. And he'd try to get fellow shareholders to do the same. Cabela's, based in Sidney, Neb., declined to comment. Cabela's operates Minnesota stores in Woodbury, Rogers, Owatonna and East Grand Forks.
Deal reached to sell Petco Animal supplies
The private-equity owners of Petco Animal Supplies have reached a $4.6 billion deal to sell the retailer to CVC Capital Partners and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board, Petco officials announced. CVC, a private-equity group, and the Canadian pension fund beat a joint offer from buyout firms KKR & Co. and Hellman & Friedman, as well as a bid by Apollo Global Management, Bloomberg reported. Petco has been owned by TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners since it was taken private in 2006.