The U.S. market indices traded up slightly in midday trading Tuesday as oil continued its months-long climb past $50 a barrel. The Dow and S&P 500 edged up 0.4% and 0.3%, respectively, as the Nasdaq was unchanged.
Crude oil prices traded up 0.7% to $50.05 a barrel, based on U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate.
Shares of Zillow (Z) traded up about 5% in midday trading, after the Seattle-based online real-estate database announced it has reached a settlement with rival Move for $130 million.
Investors appear to be relieved that Zillow was able to circumvent a looming trial this month, in which Move and the National Association of Realtors were seeking up to $2 billion in damages over allegations that Zillow executives brought trade secrets with them in their departure from Move in 2014.
Meanwhile, Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) stock was down 12% after the beleaguered Canadian drugmaker posted a first-quarter earnings miss and cut its 2016 guidance.
Valeant posted adjusted earnings per share of $1.27, missing analyst forecasts by about 7%, and Valeant's new CEO, Joseph Papa, cut the drugmaker's earnings guidance for 2016 to a range of $6.60 to $7 per share, down from a previous range of $8.50 and $9.50 in March.
"The first quarter's results reflect, in part, the impact of significant disruption this organization has faced over the past nine months," Papa said in a statement Tuesday, marking his first earnings report with Valeant since replacing Michael Pearson last month.
Drugmakers Biogen (BIIB) and Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN) also traded down 12% and 11%, respectively, on news that promising new products failed clinical trials.
Biogen's experimental drug aimed to treat multiple sclerosis, Opicinumab, failed a mid-staged trial, prompting investors to take flight from the disappearance of what had been viewed as a potential sales driver. (Biogen stock is a holding of Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS charitable trust.)
In the phase-2 study, Opicinumab missed "the primary endpoint," Biogen said in a statement, noting "evidence of a clinical effect with a complex, unexpected dose-response was observed."
"The 'novel' therapy which had been touted as the future of MS and the first drug capable of reversing the progression of the disease turned out to be yet another disaster in Biogen's history of overpromising and under- delivering," Jim Cramer and Action Alerts PLUS co-manager Jack Mohr said in a Tuesday report.
"Fortunately, we have repeatedly, explicitly distanced ourselves from the stock, given management's incoherent strategy and increasingly speculative nature of the investment," they added.
And New Haven, Conn.-based Alexion also disappointed shareholders with a post-market report Monday that final-stage trials of Soliris, a developing medication aimed to treat muscle weakness, yielded lackluster results.
Alexion said in a statement the study also missed its "primary endpoint" and that cases of successful responses to Soliris "missed statistical significance."
-- written by James Passeri