In the general news, the federal government reopened after the GOP blinked and lost the budget standoff battle, gaining no concessions. In Wall Street, JP Morgan settled yet another investigation, this tome the home lending scandal, for a record $13 Billion. Also, SAC Capital is close to settling its criminal investigation for more than $1 Billion, with no admission of wrongdoing.
In healthcare business news, earnings season began, with United Health (UNH) lowering guidance as Obamacare kicks in, reducing revenue from Medicare Advantage products. JNJ reported with the $27 Billion medical device division still struggling. ISRG continued to show weak sales in the wake of the bad press over safety. In M&A, AstraZeneca (AZN) acquired oncology company Spirogen for $440 Million. Lastly, in a rare headline, Roche is actually hiring, rather than firing, 500 people and spending $880 Million to expand manufacturing.
On the data front, Ariad (ARIA) shares tanked when a trial of Iclusid for CML was halted.
In other regulatory news. California’s governor vetoed an Amgen/Roche-friendly bill that would have made it harder to dispense generic biologics. Lastly, CMS handed an early present to Al Mann’s bionic eye company, privately held Second Sight, with better than expected reimbursement for the Argus retinal implant.