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Biotech drops again, pulling down market

Published: 4/11/14 @ 12:00


Biotech drops again, pulling down market

NEW YORK

Biotech and Internet stocks tumbled again Thursday, and the broader market followed.

After a two-day respite, investors again started dumping shares of cutting-edge drug companies and other industries that have soared over the past year. Biotechnology stocks have turned volatile in recent weeks as regulators scrutinize the cost of their drugs and investors worry their earnings won’t justify lofty stock prices. Investors also are worried that high-growth companies such as Twitter and Facebook have become too expensive.

Biogen Idec, Gilead Sciences and other biotech companies plunged. Facebook and Twitter, other recent investor favorites, also dropped.

The sudden downfall of these former high-fliers comes as investors shift from riskier investments to safer areas such as utilities, health care and consumer staples.

Wal-Mart, Wild Oats unveil cheaper line

NEW YORK

Wal-Mart is using its massive size to drive down the price of organic food items from tomato paste to chicken broth to make them more affordable for its low-income customers.

The world’s largest retailer and nation’s largest grocery seller said Thursday that it has teamed up with Wild Oats to sell a new line of organic foods, starting this month, that’s at least 25 percent cheaper than the national organic brands it carries and in line with the prices of its branded non-organic alternatives.

Wild Oats helped pioneer the organic food trend in the late 1980s but largely has disappeared from store shelves since 2007.

Feds to remove evidence from spill

CHARLESTON, W.VA.

In two weeks, federal investigators will start carving up chemical tanks for evidence in a spill that tainted 300,000 West Virginians’ water supply.

The Chemical Safety Board plans to begin removing slices of three Freedom Industries tanks in Charleston on April 24, agency spokeswoman Hillary Cohen said.

It will take 11 days to secure the chunks of metal using high-pressure water jets, according to Freedom bankruptcy documents. Then they will be shipped off for a six-month lab work contract.

Each tank contained the same coal-cleaning chemicals. On Jan. 9, one of the tanks leaked the liquid into the Elk River, spurring a ban on tap water across nine counties for four to 10 days.

The board said the tank contained at least two holes believed to be caused by corrosion, bankruptcy documents show.

GE to add 1,400 jobs

CINCINNATI

The General Electric Co. plans to build a new U.S. global operations center in the Cincinnati area, bringing an expected 1,400 jobs to southwest Ohio.

The announcement was made Thursday by JobsOhio, the state’s private job- creation agency.

Vindicator wire reports

Selected local stocks

STOCK, DIVIDENDCLOSECHANGE

Aqua America, .61, 24.93 —.33

Avalon Holdings,5.15.15

Clear Channel, .61 22.10 .27

Cortland Bancorp, 10.80.00

Farmers Nat., .127.55 —.08

First Energy, 2.20, 33.56—.20

FirstMerit Corp., .64,20.13 —.50

First Niles Financial, .32,7.03.00

FNB Corp., .48,12.80—.31

General Motors,33.35—.27

General Electric, .76,25.63—.32

Huntington Bank, .20, 9.46—.41

JP Morgan Chase, 1.52,57.65—1.62

Key Corp, .22,13.54—.47

LaFarge, 22.64 —.41

Macy’s, 1.00, 58.06—.78

Parker Hannifin, 1.80, 120.04—2.49

PNC, 1.76,82.43—2.16

RTI Intl. Metals,27.62—.29

Simon Prop. Grp.,4.60,167.37—.06

Stoneridge 10.47 —.24

Talmer Bank, 13.85—.31

United Community Fin. 3.80—.03

Selected prices at 4 p.m. Thursday. Provided by Stifel. Not to be construed as an offer or recommendation to buy or sell any security.