Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
Not planes, nor trains, nor tall skyscrapers can stop the broad-based S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) from ascending to new heights these days.
Heading into what's expected to be a heavily shopped holiday weekend for retailers, the S&P 500 vaulted to another all-time closing high following the third and final revision to third-quarter U.S. gross domestic product. That figure was raised once again to a robust 4.1% growth from the second estimate of 3.6% and an initial estimate of 2.8%. In retrospect, the Federal Open Market Committee's decision this week to enact a $10 billion monthly bond-buying taper appears well founded as the economy looks to be standing on its own two feet once again.
With GDP growth strong and the unemployment rate rattling along at a five-plus year low, the S&P 500 jumped by 8.72 points (0.48%) to close at 1,818.32, ending higher on the week by nearly 2.5%.
Topping the list of gainers today was small-cap semiconductor foundry Tower Semiconductor (NASDAQ:TSEM). The company vaulted 44.8% higher after announcing that Japanese subsidiary TowerJazz will acquire three semiconductor factories from Panasonic and establish a joint venture with the company to provide Panasonic with chips for at least five years. The deal calls for TowerJazz to own 51% of the shares of this joint venture and to leverage its existing customer base with Panasonic's need for chips to grow its business and exert pricing power. While I can't say I want anything to do with Panasonic here thanks to cheaper Chinese electronic production, the name-brand appeal and length of the contract certainly justifies Tower Semiconductor's strong move higher.
Continuing with our theme of wheeling and dealing, shares of Responsys (UNKNOWN:MKTG.DL) rocketed higher by 40.3% after the cloud-marketing company agreed to be acquired by Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) for $1.5 billion, or $27 per share. Consolidation has certainly been the name of the game in the cloud-marketing space with Oracle also gobbling up Eloqua last year. With standard software and hardware sales remaining sluggish, Oracle is turning to acquisitions rather than innovation to boost its long-term pipeline. Although that's not a bad idea necessarily, with Responsys growing its top-line at 20% per year, it could be a year or two before this deal pays off with a noticeable boost to Oracle's bottom line.
Finally, cardiovascular disease drugmaker Amarin (NASDAQ:AMRN) shot higher by 25.5% after the Food and Drug Administration indefinitely suspended its PDUFA decision on expanding the indicated uses for fish oil drug Vascepa. Amarin has asked the FDA to consider allowing it to run additional studies to demonstrate that Vascepa does indeed improve cardiovascular health. The delay by no means indicates that Amarin is going to get a favorable ruling here, but down-and-out traders took the delay to mean exactly that today. Without this broader indication for Vascepa, Amarin is going to burn through its remaining cash at a reasonably quick rate. I would suggest keeping your distance until we have much better clarity on what Amarin will do with Vascepa and its pipeline next.