The early morning markets are showing quiet confidence with Greece's private creditors having until today to accept the terms of the Mediterranean country's bailout, or set in motion a $1.3 trillion disorderly default. Hopefully that confidence is not misplaced amid reports that the various parties are close, because things will turn ugly, Lehman-ugly, if the deal gets derailed at the last minute.
With that in mind, let's take a closer look at how the three major indexes are faring this morning.
|Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI )
Source: Yahoo! Finance.
All three indexes are up with the Nasdaq currently topping the S&P 500 with its near-1% gain so far in the trading session. The Dow is lagging, and one of its components, McDonald's (NYSE: MCD ) , is having a noticeably poor performance. Global sales gains for February of 7.5% came in below expectations, sending shares of the fast-food purveyor down more than 3%. In addition, the company warned of eurozone troubles and higher commodity prices negatively affecting first-quarter results. While higher costs are something to keep an eye on, investors should remember that 7.5% growth is still impressive for a company the size of McDonald's. The stock has done quite well for investors, and this pullback could be a buying opportunity.
McDonald's isn't the only notable decliner today. On the Nasdaq, the worst performance is being turned in by biotech Dendreon (Nasdaq: DNDN ) , with shares down more than 16%. What caused the maker of prostate cancer vaccine Provenge to plummet? Concerns that Johnson & Johnson's (NYSE: JNJ ) Zytiga could be encroaching on Provenge's turf. Provenge has struggled to garner sales out of the gate, due in part to its high up-front costs and uniqueness. Zytiga, on the other hand, is a cheaper oral medicine and recent unblinded trial results showed it beating a placebo. This study wasn't supposed to read out for months, but it was unblinded because of Zytiga's effectiveness. It is cruel to give cancer patients a placebo when there is a drug that works. Shares of Medivation (Nasdaq: MDVN ) -- which also has an oral drug candidate similar to Zytiga (MDV-3100) -- are up more than 17%, as many believe J&J's success paves the way for the small biotech. Ultimately, Dendreon could be in real trouble here and investors should proceed with caution.
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