Oil prices rose modestly Wednesday, providing a slight boost to riskier assets, including stocks, as the S&P 500 notched a gain of 0.11% in the first trading day of June. The Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out a gain of 0.01% while the Nasdaq Composite finished higher by 0.08%.
In its Beige Book report released today, the Federal Reserve said economic activity picked up at a moderate pace throughout most of the U.S. over the past month and a half. The Fed expects to raise interest rates in the coming months, perhaps as soon as its June meeting.
Although broader benchmarks were mostly sluggish today, Galena Biopharma Inc (NASDAQ:GALE), Michael Kors Holdings Ltd (NYSE:KORS) and Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) found ways to stand out and deliver big gains.
Galena Biopharma Inc (GALE)
Shares of Galena Biopharma climbed 19.3% on more than 15 times the average daily volume after the company said its NeuVax (nelipepimut-S), a treatment for early stage breast cancer, gained fast track development approval from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
“The Fast Track designation provides for the designation of a drug as a fast track product if it is intended for the treatment of a serious or life-threatening disease or condition, and it demonstrates the potential to address unmet medical needs for such a disease or condition,” said GALE in a statement.
Under the fast track designation, GALE’s treatment could see expedited review and approval by the FDA.
Michael Kors Holdings Ltd (KORS)
Michael Kors, the maker of high-end handbags and apparel, saw its shares climb 6.6% after the company reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of 98 cents a share. Analysts expected KORS to earn 97 cents per share.
KORS said revenue rose to $4.7 billion from $4.4 billion a year earlier. Analysts expected KORS to post revenue of $4.66 billion. KORS forecast fiscal first-quarter sales of $940 million to $950 million, below the $1.03 billion analysts are expecting.
KORS also announced a $1 billion share repurchase effort.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (VRX)
Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals, the embattled specialty pharmaceuticals makers, rose nearly 4.6% after the company said it will host a conference call on June 7 to highlight its first-quarter financial results. VRX has previously come under fire for its accounting practices, including multiple delays in reporting some financial details.
VRX also said it expects to file its quarterly report with U.S. and Canadian regulators as soon as next week, well ahead of a July 31 deadline, reports Reuters.
VRX delivered its 2015 results in April. Shares of VRX are down 70.7% this year.
At the time of this writing, Todd Shriber did not own any of the aforementioned securities.