Eric G.

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Eric G.

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US Stocks had the worst ever start to a year last week with the major US indexes losing over 6% last week.  The selling has abated here in the US this morning with stocks higher in early trading.  Last week global stock markets lost $2.3 Trillion in value. (CNBC)
 
The consolidation in the Drug business continues.  The UK based Shire announced today that they would acquire the Illinois based Baxalta for $32 Billion in stock and cash.  The deal will make Shire the leader globally in treating rare diseases.  The deal marks a strong start to M&A in the healthcare business in 2016 after the sector saw its biggest deal making streak in history last year with global healthcare deals totaling $673 Billion, many of those deal tax inversions. (Yahoo Finance)
 
US drug makers demonstrated their pricing power with the start of the new year.  Pfizer, Amgen, Allergan and many others have raised prices for dozens of drugs with many increases over 10%.  One company Vanda pharmaceuticals increased one of their drugs 10% to $148,000/year.  The price increases are significant especially in light of the recent political pressure to curb these price increases.  This also illustrates why these companies continue to be good investments. (marketwatch.com)
 
And unless you’ve been under a rock you know Wednesday’s Powerball lottery is now $1.3 Billion which is the largest ever and expected to grow.  Your chance at winning, 1 in 292 million.  The for sure winner will be the tax man who will collect 39.6% of the winnings.  Good luck out there! (marketwatch.com)

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