Investors have waited more than a year for the stock market to hit new highs, but Monday was the day for the S&P 500, which broke new ground in a winning effort to start the week. Even though many investors have concerns about the state of the global economy, the fact that interest rates have fallen to such low levels as to make bonds a nearly irrelevant asset class for producing returns has given investors little choice but to embrace stocks and their income-producing capacity. Major market indexes climbed between a third- and a half-percent, leaving the Dow Jones Industrials about 85 points shy of its record close of 18,312. Some stocks did far better, and Wynn Resorts (WYNN 3.40%), Lannett (LCI 1.39%), and Sagent Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SGNT) were among the top performers on the day.
Wynn sees better times in Macau
Wynn Resorts climbed 5% after investors looked favorably on how well the Asian gaming capital of Macau is performing to start the month of July. Reports showed that gross gaming revenues in Macau for the first 10 days of the month appear to have risen by more than 8% compared to last year, and that could signal that Macau's long decline could finally have come to an end. Wynn in particular has taken a big hit because of Macau's troubles, especially because the casino giant has plans to open a new resort there later this summer. However, skeptics note that the way the calendar worked out this year, early July had an additional weekend, and that could have skewed the numbers sufficiently to explain the gains without justifying the optimism that Wynn's share-price advance suggests.
Lannett gets a big drug win
Lannett jumped 13% in the wake of getting approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its Paroxetine extended release tablets. The drug is the therapeutic equivalent of brand-name depression-fighting drug Paxil, and it represents one of just two generic competitors to Paxil that are currently on the market. CEO Arthur Bedrosian noted that the approval came from Lannett's Kremers Urban subsidiary, which Lannett acquired only eight months ago. As Bedrosian sees it, "The launch of Paroxetine, combined with our recently completed debt refinancing and six other recent product approvals, strengthens and reinforces our positive look for the coming year." Investors agree, and Lannett said it has already started shipping Paroxetine to customers.
Sagent finds a buyer
Finally, Sagent Pharmaceuticals soared almost 40%. The pharmaceuticals provider received and accepted a buyout bid from Japan's Nichi-Iko Pharmaceutical for $736 million, by which current Sagent shareholders will receive $21.75 per share in cash through a tender offer. The two companies argue that the transaction will bring together two key players in the generic drug market and that their product portfolios will complement each other extremely well. At the same time, Nichi-Iko will get a bigger presence in the U.S. market with which to commercialize products in its biosimilar pipeline. Sagent CEO Allan Oberman said that "the combination will maintain Sagent's current operations and valued employees while providing accelerated expansion of our product offerings," and Sagent's board agreed that the deal is in the best interest of shareholders. The companies expect the deal to close sometime during the third quarter of calendar 2016.