Closing Bell: Big Biotech Sell-Off as Dow Rallies, Nasdaq Edges Up

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A late day rally on Wall Street, but a big sell-off for biotech stocks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) rallied 137 points, the S&P 500 (^GSPC) gained 9, and the Nasdaq (COMPX) turned higher in the final minutes of trading.

Some of the biggest Nasdaq stocks and some of the best performers this year gave back some of their recent gains.

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Google (GOOG) dropped 3.5 points, Netflix (NFLX) fell 4, and Tesla Motors (TSLA) lost 5.

Apple (AAPL) ended little changed, even though mutual fund giant Fidelity Contrafund cut its stake in the tech giant. In addition, a federal trial opened with the government charging that the company conspired with publishers to raise the price of e-books.

There are also a number of reports that Apple is about to launch a music streaming service. That sent shares of Pandora (P) down 10 percent.

And biotech stocks were sharply lower across the board:
  • Amgen (AMGN) fell more than 1 percent.
  • BioMarin (BMRN) Pharmaceutical fell 4 percent.
  • Gilead (GILD) and Biogen-Idec (BIIB) also fell.
  • Affymax (AFFY) dropped 18 percent on word its stock will be delisted by the Nasdaq.
  • And Infinity Pharmaceuticals (INFI) was the big loser, plunging 39 percent.
But Big Pharma posted strong gains. Merck (MRK) rose 4 percent and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) gained 3 percent. Both reported promising developments about cancer drugs in late-stage development.

Ford (F) and General Motors (GM) both edged higher after reporting strong sales in May, led by pick-ups and SUVs. But shares of Toyota fell 1 percent. That's partly tied to the big sell-off in Japanese stocks.

Others movers of note:
  • Intel (INTC) gained nearly 4 percent following a ratings upgrade by FBR.
  • Other blue chip gainers: Boeing (BA), McDonald's (MCD), Coke (KO) and Microsoft (MSFT), all up more than 1 percent.
  • F5 Networks (FFIV) lost another 5 percent after Morgan Stanley lowered its rating on the maker of data management equipment to "neutral".
  • Zynga (ZNGA) fell 12 percent. It's cutting its workforce, closing offices, and forecasting another loss.
  • And Cracker Barrel (CBRL) rose 6 percent. Its quarterly net was better than expected, and the restaurant company raised its forecast for the full year.
–Produced by Drew Trachtenberg

5 Women Who Are Saving Tech
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Closing Bell: Big Biotech Sell-Off as Dow Rallies, Nasdaq Edges Up
If there's a grandmother of the female-tech leadership movement, it's Weili Dai, who in 1995 co-founded semiconductor company Marvell Technology (MRVL).

Dai was the first woman to be a founder of a global semiconductor company. But co-founder isn't the only hat Dai has worn for Marvell. She's also served as chief operating officer and executive vice president, among other positions.

Dai's influence has helped the company become a dominating force in the semiconductor market. Marvell has brought in annual revenue of more than $3 billion over the past three years.

Meanwhile, Dai generates positive press for the company just by being herself. In 2012 she was honored with the Outstanding Leadership Award from nonprofit Upwardly Global. She's a truly inspiring executive, and not just if you're a woman or a techie.
Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) was in rough shape when Meg Whitman arrived as CEO in September 2011. Its stock had taken a colossal downturn from $48.64 that February to $22.32 in September.

Whitman faced the seemingly insurmountable task of saving the dying giant. Even after her appointment, HP's stock would sink even further to a low point of $11.94.

Still, with fierce determination and a thick skin, Whitman has brought better times to HP.

After the team working on Microsoft's (MSFT) search engine Bing awarded multiple server orders to HP competitor Dell (DELL) (the most recent for $350 million), Whitman called Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's CEO, and demanded to know why. Ballmer sent back a lengthy memo detailing nine reasons. Whitman analyzed it thoroughly and took action. The next time Bing needed servers, they went with a bigger order ($530 million) at HP.

It will of course take much more work than one order for Whitman to reshape HP. However, being receptive to criticism and using it to improve is a great quality in a CEO, and HP may already be benefiting from it. Since hitting that low point of $11.94, HP reached a 2013 high of $23.84.
Two years ago, IBM (IBM) picked one of its senior vice presidents, Virginia "Ginni" Rometty, to be its new chief executive officer. It was the first time in the company's history that a woman had been appointed CEO.

Since then, the company has seen another first: the first time its stock went above $200.

Rometty earned the CEO position after steering IBM's acquisition of the consulting unit of Pricewaterhouse Coopers in 2002. At $3.9 billion, it was the largest deal in IBM's history, and as Rometty herself said, the "first and only time a professional services firm of that size has been integrated into another large company."

Offering consulting services has diversified IBM's product offerings, which has in turn broadened the company's reach. In a fickle industry that is constantly changing, having a strong competitive advantage is a huge plus.

IBM went on to make more than $100 billion in 2011, the year of Rometty's appointment, and made $104 billion in 2012. If Rometty has her way, the company will maintain this upward momentum for a long time to come.
Like Whitman at IBM, Marissa Mayer was appointed chief executive officer at Yahoo! (YHOO) after a string of CEOs had jumped ship from the company. Yahoo! was struggling, and in 2011 its share price had dropped under $12, its lowest point since 2002. Morale was low, and the company looked to Mayer to save it.

Mayer, who was the 20th employee at Google (GOOG), worked quietly during the first few months following her July 2012 appointment, trying to get the clearest sense of Yahoo!'s business and culture. Then, in February 2013, she made major waves by announcing a controversial telework ban. The era of Mayer had officially begun.

The telework ban sparked a national conversation on the value of being able to work remotely, and arguably brought Yahoo! more attention than it had received in years.

Since then, Yahoo! has enacted a string of tech mergers, each one more high-profile than the last. Its largest acquisition was the recent buyout of popular photo blogging platform Tumblr, reportedly for $1 billion.

Yahoo!'s share price is the highest it's been in more than four years, and for the first time since 2010, the company saw an increase in its annual revenue. Mayer definitely has a long way to go, but she's had some impressive results thus far.
It's pretty much impossible to talk about women in technology and not bring up Sheryl Sandberg.

The Facebook (FB) chief operations officer has brought copious attention to the subject through the release of her book, "Lean In," regarding the empowerment of women in the workplace. But her professional track record is remarkable by itself.

For a long time Facebook's future looked uncertain -- thanks in part to movies like "The Social Network," it was some were tempted to dismiss it as a fad invented by a nerdy college student in order to look cool, as opposed to a business that could be monetized.

Sandberg's mature, business-oriented presence has helped change that. Since her 2008 appointment, Facebook has achieved impressive earnings in the realms of mobile applications and advertising. The company has weathered its share of blunders (most notably, its disastrous IPO in May 2012), but its annual revenue has more than doubled since 2010 -- proof that, with Sandberg's guidance, the company is ready for adulthood and in a position to make some serious money.
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