U.S. indices were holding relatively even Monday after last week's rally in equities. Biotech and agriculture-related stocks are proving to be the biggest market gainers at midday, while oil prices continue to decline.
XenoPort (XNPT) saw its share price skyrocket more than 56% on heavy volume after Arbor Pharmaceutical announced a deal to buy the biopharmaceutical company for $467 million. Under the acquisition agreement, Arbor will purchase all outstanding shares for $7.03.
Universal Display (OLED) shares jumped up about 9% after Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock Monday morning. The firm also raised its target price to $76 up from $55. This comes after reports that Apple (APPL) is switching to OLED panels for iPhones in 2017.
Monsanto (MON) shares jumped nearly 5% after German drug maker Bayer (BAYRY) outlined its controversial $62 billion bid for the sustainable agriculture company. Bayer's CEO Werner Baumann detailed the potential deal for the first time Monday, saying it would offer $122 per share, a premium price for Monsanto stock, which was recently trading at $106.95. The deal would create the world's largest agrochemicals company, but Monsanto has yet to comment on the offer.
Tribune Publishing (TPUB) shares plummeted about 16% in midday trading as the company turned down Gannett Co.'s (GCI) $864 million takeover proposal. Tribune CEO Justin Dearborn said Gannett's offer of $15 per share is "clearly inadequate as a control investment." But Tribune did not lose out entirely, as Nant Capital announced a $70.5 million growth capital investment to support the newspaper publisher's transformation strategy. The investment makes Nant the second-largest shareholder.
--Written by Anders Keitz