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Reps. Cummings, Welch to launch investigation into multiple sclerosis drug prices

MarketWatch Market Pulse - 2 hours 34 min ago

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) said Thursday morning that they are launching an investigation into multiple sclerosis drug prices, and have sent letters to seven pharmaceutical companies about their pricing strategies. Letters were sent to Bayer AG , Biogen Inc. , Merck & Co.'s EMD Serono, Novartis AG , Sanofi SA , Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and Roche Holding AG . Biogen shares declined 2.9% in heavy midday trade and Teva shares declined 1.1% in moderate trade. The lawmakers asked for information to evaluate multiple sclerosis drugs' "substantial price increases, including information about corporate profits and expenses and documents concerning pricing strategies, patient assistance programs, and drug distribution systems," and requested a response by the end of the month. The average price of a multiple sclerosis disease-modifying therapy rose from $16,000 in 2004 to about $84,000 in 2017, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (the numbers refer to average wholesale price, which does not reflect often-substantial discounts and rebates). Prices for drugs sold by the seven drugmakers have increased by as much as 1,002% since 2012, according to information from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society cited by the two representatives. The lawmakers said that their letter referred to an American Academy of Neurology study that found "some drug companies appear to be increasing their prices and setting new, higher prices in lockstep in competitors," which may reflect a phenomenon called "shadow pricing" in which companies respond to eachothers' price increases.

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Barcelona officials call van attack apparent terrorism; fatalities reported

MarketWatch Market Pulse - 2 hours 34 min ago

A vehicle ran into a crowd in central Barcelona, injuring several pedestrians, according to multiple news reports citing Spanish police, with some media outlets indicating officials had characterized the incident as an intentional attack. Police reportedly concluded the attack was a terrorist action. The attack reportedly involving a white van occurred near Plaza Catalunya in the Spanish city's busy and heavily touristed Ramblas area. Police have confirmed fatalities in the attack, the Associated Press and others reported. The AP cited the police as putting the death count at 13. Local media in Barcelona were reporting that hostages were being held at a restaurant in the vicinity.

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Van crashes into crowds in Barcelona, media say two killed

Top Reuters News - 2 hours 35 min ago
BARCELONA (Reuters) - A van crashed into dozens of people in the center of Barcelona on Thursday and Spanish media said at least two people were killed.

Trump adviser Cohn to remain as talk swirls of White House departures

Reuters US Politics - 2 hours 51 min ago
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - White House Economic Adviser Gary Cohn is remaining in his post, a White House official said on Thursday, after speculation earlier in the day of Cohn's possible departure rattled the U.S. stock market and the dollar.

Trump defends monuments to the pro-slavery Confederacy

Reuters US Politics - 3 hours 1 min ago
BRIDGEWATER, N.J/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump dug in defiantly on Thursday in his response to racial violence in Virginia, echoing the position of white nationalists by intensifying his opposition to the removal of monuments to the pro-slavery Civil War Confederacy.

U.S. House Democratic leader Pelosi calls for Confederate statue removal

Reuters US Politics - 3 hours 1 min ago
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday joined calls for the immediate removal of Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol, shortly after President Donald Trump expressed regret over statues and monuments being removed in some cities.

House Democrats launch probe into MS drug pricing

Reuters US Politics - 3 hours 29 min ago
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Democrats on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform said on Thursday they are launching an investigation into why prices for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) treatments have nearly quadrupled since 2004, and they sent letters requesting information from seven drugmakers.

Quartet of stocks, led by Wal-Mart, Goldman, chop 50 points from Dow industrials

MarketWatch Market Pulse - 3 hours 40 min ago

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Thursday was being yanked firmly lower in midday trade as four of its components were under severe pressure. Shares of Apple Inc. , Goldman Sachs Group Inc. , Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. were exacting a more-than 50-point toll on the Dow , which was down more than 100 points, with those components representing the lion's share of the fall. Wal-Mart's share decline came even as the the giant retailer reported quarterly results that were better than expected, but showed disappointing sales in its Sam's Club unit. Cisco Systems Inc. lost 3.9% after the networking-equipment company late Wednesday reported earnings that missed forecasts. More broadly, the S&P 500 index was off 0.7% at 2,452, and the Nasdaq Composite Index was giving up 0.8% in early trade at 6,292.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Barcelona van attack leaves at least three dead and dozens injured

MiddleEasteye - 3 hours 41 min ago
Language Undefined

Barcelona police at scene of Las Ramblas van incident 'terrorist attack' amid reports of fatalities

Trump mulling lifting status of Cyber Command: sources

Reuters US Politics - 3 hours 55 min ago
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump is close to making a decision to elevate the status of the Pentagon's Cyber Command, signaling more emphasis on developing cyber weapons to deter attacks, punish intruders and tackle adversaries, current and former officials told Reuters on Thursday.

VIDEO: Girl seen lifted into air by tornado hitting Iraq refugee camp

MiddleEasteye - 3 hours 57 min ago
Language Undefined

A video that surfaced on social media shows a storm hitting al-Salamiyah refugee camp south of Mosul tearing up tents in its path

Target's stock gains after MKM analyst turns bullish as traffic 'perks up'

MarketWatch Market Pulse - 4 hours 41 min ago

Shares of Target Corp edged up 0.6% in morning trade Thursday, bucking the declines seen in the broader retail sector and rival Wal-Mart Stores Inc. shares, after the discount retailer was upgraded at MKM Partners, citing "encouraging" quarterly results as traffic "perks up." Analyst Patrick McKeever raised his rating to buy, after being neutral for at least the last three years. He boosted his stock price target to $69. which was 22% above current levels, from $58. McKeever highlighted that traffic growth of 2.1% was the best since the fourth-quarter of 2014. "New brands appear to be playing a big role as consumers respond enthusiastically to Cat & Jack, Pillowfort and the more recently introduced Cloud Island," Mckeever wrote in a note to clients. Meanwhile, Wal-Mart's stock shed 2.1% in morning trade, after reporting earlier traffic at Walmart U.S. stores rose just 1.3%. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF was down 0.4%. So far this year, Target's stock has tumbled 22%, while Wal-Mart shares have run up 15%, the retail ETF has lost 12% and the S&P 500 has gained 9.5%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Natural-gas prices edge up as traders parse through revised EIA supply data

MarketWatch Market Pulse - 4 hours 48 min ago

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration on Thursday showed that domestic supplies of natural gas rose by 53 billion cubic feet for the week ended Aug. 11. The data, however, included revisions to figures for previous weeks tied to a reclassification of natural gas in storage from working gas to base gas. On average, analysts were looking for a build of 47 billion cubic feet, according to commodity brokerage firm iiTRADER. Total stocks now stand at 3.082 trillion cubic feet, down 254 billion cubic feet from a year ago, but 55 billion cubic feet above the five-year average, the government said. September natural gas was up 2 cents, or 0.8%, from Wednesday's settlement to $2.910 per million British thermal units. It traded at $2.882 before the data.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Exclusive: U.S. forces to stay in Syria for decades, say militia allies

Top Reuters News - 4 hours 56 min ago
AIN ISSA, Syria (Reuters) - Washington's main Syrian ally in the fight against Islamic State says the U.S. military will remain in northern Syria long after the jihadists are defeated, predicting enduring ties with the Kurdish-dominated region.

The Abkhazia human rights report the EU doesn't want you to read

MiddleEasteye - 5 hours 4 min ago

The EU has been courageous to stick by Iran in the face of Trump. But its stance towards a key human rights review in the breakaway region of Georgia has been pathetically weak

Arabic press review: Egyptians hope for easy riches, search for treasure

MiddleEasteye - 5 hours 27 min ago
Language Undefined

In other news: Saudi tells Qatari pilgrims that they are welcome for Hajj, Jordan says the status of Jerusalem is nothing to do with security

ADP's stock could more than double in less than 4 years, Ackman's Pershing Square says

MarketWatch Market Pulse - 5 hours 32 min ago

Shares of Automatic Data Processing Inc. could more than double in less than four years, if the payroll services company fulfill's its potential, according to hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management, which is run by billionaire activist investor Bill Ackman. In a presentation to investors, Pershing said the value of ADP's stock, which was down 1.4% at $109.54 in morning trade, can rise to $221 to $255 a share by June 21, with "not changes in the credit rating, capital structure, dividend policy, or clients funds investment strategy." Pershing said ADP's "buy" instead of "build" strategy has led to weak product offerings, most notably in enterprise, and inefficient legacy back-end infrastructure. "ADP's focus on 'hitting the numbers' has led to value-destructive decisions with negative long-term consequences," Pershing wrote in the presentation. ADP diclosed earlier this month that Pershing, which owns 36.8 million ADP shares, or an 8.3% stake, was seeking to take five board seats and change the CEO. In an interview on CNBC last week, ADP CEO Carlos Rodriguez called Ackman "a spoiled brat." stock has gained 22% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has rallied 13%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Eliminating Down Syndrome Children Is Abhorrent

RealClearPolitics - 5 hours 35 min ago
Chuck Donovan, The Daily Signal
Down syndrome babies are being discarded and robbed of dignity simply because of their condition.

The Flight 93 Moment Is Now

RealClearPolitics - 5 hours 36 min ago
James Kirchick, The Daily Beast
The most important intellectual case for Donald Trump’s candidacy, to the extent that such a thing could even exist, was an essay published last September by the Claremont Review of Books titled The Flight 93 Election.