Stocks have slowed after the market's recent rally to near-record highs, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) down about 22points and sporting few big movers as of 2:30 p.m. EDT. Still, half of the blue-chip index's member stocks are up so far, led by Intel's (NASDAQ:INTC)0.8% climb on the day. Outside the Dow, drugmaker Allergan's (NYSE:AGN) stock has soured as rival Valeant Pharmaceuticals' (NYSE:VRX) takeover bid for the company has taken another turn. Let's catch up on what you need to know.
Intel looks for mobile help
Intel yesterday announced a chip production partnership with Rockchip, a Chinese processor-making company that targets the low-end tablet market. It's a play for Intel to push further into a mobile market that has eluded the company as rivals have gained steam in this fast-growing niche.The low-end mobile market's gains in China should help Intel compete for market share of the rising middle class in the world's second-largest economy.
It's clear Intel needs to continue beefing up its mobile offerings, and Rockchip is well positioned to give a boost to those efforts. Intel's mobile and communications group hasn't emerged as a major part of the company's business portfolio yet, as it saw year-over-year revenue plummet in the most recent quarter and is dwarfed by the chipmaker's PC client and data center groups. While the latter's gains are admirable, Intel continues to lose traction in the PC market amid the industry's declining sales -- and don't expect that trend to ease off as mobile continues its rise. For Intel and its investors to thrive in the long run, this company will need to see meaningful gains in mobile and its promising Internet of Things business.
Around the market, Botox maker Allergan's stock has shedded 4.6% so far today. Valeant Pharmaceuticals, which has gunned for a takeover of Allergan over the past month, increased its offer to value its target at more than $49 billion today. Valeant is hoping for a sit-down with Allergan leadership, although the company hasn't ruled out further buyout offer increases in the future. Valeant shares have also fallen by 2% through midafternoon.
Allergan has already turned down Valeant once, taking an aggressive stance in questioning its larger competitor's growth and claiming its buyout offers don't value Allergan's business properly. Don't expect that to stop Valeant so easily: The company aims to swell its specialty pharmaceutical portfolio even further after its purchase of eye-care firm Bausch & Lomb for $8.7 billion last year and skin-care specialist Medicis Pharmaceutical for $2.6 billion in 2012. Acquisitions have been all the rage in health care this year, and Valeant aims to take its place as one of the drugmaking giants by bringing Allergan into the fold. The latter is trying its best to stave off a buyout, but expect this story to take more twists and turns before investors realize a conclusion.
Dan Carroll has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Intel and Valeant Pharmaceuticals. The Motley Fool owns shares of Intel and Valeant Pharmaceuticals. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.