It was a down day for U.S. equities with telecom stocks proving to be the dud of the day, while healthcare shares posted slight gains. The S&P 500 Index lost 0.2% Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.2% and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.1%.
Thursday’s after-hours news included new data from an Alkermes Plc (NASDAQ:ALKS) clinical trial, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) reporting earnings and talks of a Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX) takeover bid.
Here’s what you should know ahead of Friday’s action:
Alkermes Plc (ALKS)
Alkermes announced positive results surrounding its new depression drug. ALKS 5461 proved to be quite effective during the latter stage of a clinical trial, treating patients afflicted by depression who did not respond to traditional antidepressants.
407 patients with major depression tested the medication, responding well alongside a placebo. Alkermes plans on discussing the potential of ALKS 5461 with the Food and Drug Administration to determine what its next move is as it seeks to get the drug approved.
The Dublin-based company consists of more than 500 employees that helped to create the new depression medication, which is taken orally once a day.
ALKS shares spiked 14.8% after the bell Thursday.
Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)
Microsoft impressed investors with its fiscal first-quarter report. The tech company’s expansion to the cloud industry has proven to be successful as it has managed to reap the rewards of its cloud efforts, while simultaneously putting itself in a strong position to succeed going forward.
Microsoft earned 60 cents a share over its most recent three-month period, or 76 cents per share on an adjusted basis. Adjusted earnings were slated to come in at 68 cents per share, Wall Street predicted.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters also called for revenue of $21.7 billion, which is more than half a billion dollars below the $22.33 billion in net sales raked in by the company.
Despite Microsoft’s strong showing in its cloud business, its mobile and gaming segments underwhelmed, dropping 2% year-over-year to $9.3 billion.
MSFT stock popped 5.9% yesterday after the market closed.
Time Warner Inc (TWX)
A merger could be in the cards as AT&T looks to expand from its phone carrier by developing a prominent role in the media industry. After buying DIRECTV from Time Warner for $48.5 billion, acquiring the parent company could be its next move.
Industry experts are already discussing the ramifications of such a deal, which will likely raise antitrust considerations from regulators. The person who becomes the next Federal Communications Commission president may determine the proposed merger’s fate.
Neither side has hired a financial adviser or commented on what a takeover bid may look like. Time Warner has a market value of $65 billion, while AT&T is worth around $238 billion.
TWX shares surged 0.3%, while T stock climbed 0.1% after hours.