Markets Rise at Midday as Bond Yields Fall Ahead of Fed Meeting Minutes

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Key Takeaways

  • U.S. equites rose at midday on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023, as bond yields extended their decline and ahead of the release of minutes from the latest Fed meeting.
  • Walgreens shares advanced as it named Tim Wentworth as its new CEO.
  • Shares of kidney dialysis machine and insulin pump makers plummeted as Novo Nordisk ended early a study of Ozempic’s effectiveness in fighting kidney disease early because of early signs of success.

At midday, U.S. equities extended their gains this week as bond yields dropped ahead of the release of minutes from the latest Fed meeting. The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq all advanced. 

Shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) climbed after the biggest U.S. pharmacy chain announced it had chosen former Cigna (CI) executive Tim Wentworth as its new CEO.

Shares of Amgen (AMGN) also rose following an upgrade from Leerink Partners, which said the biotech company’s “accelerating pipeline newsflow” will boost the stock. 

Dialysis machine and insulin pump manufacturers were the worst-performing stocks in the S&P 500 after Novo Nordisk (NOVO) halted a study of its diabetes treatment, Ozempic, following early signs of success in treating patients with chronic kidney disease. Shares of DaVita (DVA), Baxter International (BAX), DexCom (DXCM) and Insulet (PODD) tumbled. American depositary receipts (ADRs) of Novo Nordisk (NOVO) rose, as did those of Eli Lilly (LLY), which is also pursuing producing drugs similar to Ozempic.

Exxon Mobil (XOM) shares lost ground after the oil giant agreed to purchase shale driller Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD) for $59.5 billion. Shares of Pioneer Natural Resources gained.

Oil futures sank after Saudi Arabia pledged to stabilize the market following concerns about the potential impact on crude from the Israel–Hamas war. Gold prices rose as a so-called “safe haven” investment amid worries about conflict in the Middle East. The U.S. dollar increased versus the yen, but fell to the euro and pound. Trading in major cryptocurrencies was mixed.

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