The S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) broke a four-day win streak, and all three major indices lost ground in the stock market today. Without any major economic data for Wall Street to dissect, the losses were muted, but Allergan (NYSE:AGN), Health Care REIT (NYSE:HCN), and U.S. Steel (NYSE:X) still managed to decline noticeably, finishing as three of the worst stocks in the benchmark 500-stock index. The S&P 500, for its part, ended the day down just two points, or 0.1%, closing at 1,909.
Allergan, the biggest laggard of the day, shed 5.4%, as the Botox maker shunned a $49 billion buyout offer by Valeant Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: VRX). The company's current valuation is about $46.5 billion, making the $49 billion unsolicited offer a slimmer premium than we often see in buyout propositions. Allergan shot back at Valeant's valuation in a fiery retort that questioned the projected annual cost savings a deal would bring, as well as Valeant's accounting. With the hostile takeover attempt taking a serious blow today, the deal could ultimately fall through, and Allergan's stock would have to justify its pricey valuation through growth rather than speculation.
Shares of Health Care REIT dropped 3.2% today, as investors reacted to news that the company will be selling 14 million more shares to raise capital. Wall Street usually beats a stock down when it dilutes shareholders with additional secondary offerings, and today was no different. Health Care REIT will raise between $873 million and $1 billion in the move, offering 14 million shares to the public at the price of $62.35 a pop. Seeing no reason to pay more than the new market rate, shareholders bid the stock lower, and shares finished at $62.35 on the dot.
Lastly, shares of U.S. Steel lost 2.5% Wednesday, as fallout from federal prosecutors' claims that the Chinese government is spying on American companies continues. The impact on diplomatic and commercial U.S.-Sino interactions is unclear, but it's tough to see how U.S. Steel sees any positive outcomes from the situation. The company was one of only five American firms mentioned in last week's unprecedented accusations. Last Monday, the U.S. formally charged five members of the Chinese military with stealing trade secrets from various titans of U.S. industry. Investment bank Axiom Capital Group also reaffirmed its negative outlook on shares, calling the stock one of the best shorts in the market due to declining steel prices.
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