Market Wrap: Wall Street Ends Down as Biotech Stocks Drop 4%

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APActors Robert Downey Jr. and Jeremy Renner ring the opening bell Monday at the New York Stock Exchange.
By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK - U.S. stocks ended down Monday, led by losses in biotech shares after disappointing news from several companies including Amgen.

The Nasdaq Biotech Index sank 4.1 percent, its biggest daily percentage loss since March 25, while the S&P Healthcare index, down 1.8 percent, was the biggest drag on the benchmark S&P 500 index.

Amgen (AMGN) shares led the S&P 500's decline, dropping 3.3 percent to $162.38 after U.S. regulators said Amgen's skin cancer immunotherapy cannot be considered for an accelerated review at this time.

Celladon (CLDN) shares fell 80.7 percent to $2.64 and hit a record low of $2.59. It said it expected layoffs and cost cuts after the company's lead experimental gene therapy to treat heart failure failed a key trial.

Health care companies have been the top performers so far in 2015, helping push major stock indexes to records. Biotechs in particular have driven up the Nasdaq, which last week reached its first all-time closing high in 15 years.

The sector is being dragged down by reports of high pricing by specialty pharmaceutical companies as well as the disappointing news from Celladon and Amgen, said Paul Yook portfolio manager of biotech exchange traded funds and at LifeSci Partners in New York.

"Drug pricing has been a real concern for investors," he said.

The Nasdaq biotech sector briefly fell into bear market territory a year ago following a sell-off in Gilead (GILD) shares and concerns about valuations. But analysts said for now they don't view Monday's selloff as the start of a bigger drop. The Nasdaq biotech index is up more than 50 percent since April 2014.

"This run in the biotechs is going to come to end at some point but I'm not panicking yet," said Bill Gunderson, president of Gunderson Capital in San Diego.

"I don't think you can look at what's happening today and say this is the end of the biotech sector. You might just have a big institution reallocating a little bit of money here."

Stocks Making Moves

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 42.17 points, or 0.2 percent, to 18,037.97, the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GSPC) lost 8.77 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,108.92 and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) dropped 31.84 points, or 0.6 percent, to 5,060.25.

Also in the health care sector, Mylan (MYL) fell 5.7 percent to $71.72 after it rejected Teva Pharmaceutical's unsolicited $40 billion takeover offer, saying it "grossly undervalues" the company. Teva (TEVA) lost 4.3 percent to $61.63.

The Health Care Select Sector SPDR exchange-traded fund (XLV) was down 1.8 percent.

After the bell, Apple (AAPL) shares gained 1.1 percent as the iPhone maker reported a 27 percent jump in quarterly revenue. Its shares ended the regular session up 1.8 percent at $132.65.

NYSE declining issues outnumbered advancers 1,923 to 1,130, while on the Nasdaq, 1,956 issues fell and 805 advanced. The S&P 500 posted 14 new 52-week highs and 1 new low; the Nasdaq composite recorded 101 new highs and 42 new lows.

About 6.8 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges versus the 6.2 billion daily average for the month to date, according to data from BATS Global Markets.

-With additional reporting by Sinead Carew.

What to watch Tuesday:
  • Federal Reserve policymakers meet to set interest rates.
  • Standard & Poor's releases S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices for February at 9 a.m. Eastern time.
  • The Conference Board releases the Consumer Confidence Index for April at 10 a.m..
Earnings Season
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11 PHOTOS
10 Clever Hacks That Save Both Money and the Earth
See Gallery
Market Wrap: Wall Street Ends Down as Biotech Stocks Drop 4%
Take shorter showers. Only run the dishwasher and washing machine when you have a full load. Install a low-flow showerhead. Fix leaky faucets. Use rain barrels to collect water for your garden (check first to see if it's legal in your area).

Shaving an extra $10 per month from your water or energy bill adds up to $120 each year, a nice chunk of change to have back in your budget.
Live in an area of town that's not overly car-dependent. Walk or bike to work, or use public transit if it's available. Carpool with coworkers who live nearby. Set up a carpool schedule for getting the neighborhood kids to and from school and extracurricular activities.

Run all your errands in one trip rather than heading out several times a week to take care of a task here and a task there. This saves time, money and the environment –- a trifecta of savings.
Create a meal plan and a shopping list to make sure you only buy ingredients you'll eat before they spoil. Learn to use leftovers creatively. Compost food scrapes and food that has happened to expire, or find ways you may still be able to use it (like turning overripe bananas into banana bread).
Install a water purification tap on your faucet and buy a reusable water bottle you can take to the gym or carry while running errands. You can also buy reusable water bottles that have a filtration system built into the cap, so you can refill at a drinking fountain while you're out.
Buying fresh ingredients and making your own meals from scratch is another trifecta: It saves you money; it cuts back on the unnecessary waste caused by foods that are over-packaged; and it cuts back on the health risks of foods that are over-processed.
This motto of frugality from the Great Depression -– "use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without" -- is a smart one to follow today if you're on a mission to live in a way that's more Earth-friendly.

This motto encompasses everything from mending clothes rather than throwing them away to learning to fix your broken toaster rather than buying a new one. In our "disposable" society, this motto stands as an encouragement to be more resourceful and make the most of what you already own.
Whether it's in your backyard or on your kitchen windowsill, growing your own veggies and herbs gives you fresh, organic ingredients you don't have to waste gas driving to the store to purchase. Plus, you'll know your produce is totally organic and pesticide-free because you grew it yourself.
When you make your own cleaning products from simple household ingredients, you save money, cut back on packaging waste, and can make solutions that are safer for the environment and your family. Many household cleaning products get the job done just as well as expensive store-bought cleaners with harsh chemicals.
Why buy a DVD you'll only watch a once or a book that will just sit on your shelf once you've read it? Borrow media from your local library -- many libraries even have video games for your kids.

When you have a DIY project, borrow tools from your neighbors rather than buying a power washer or circular saw you'll probably never use again. Organize a clothing swap with your friends so you can trade items from each other's closets -- an outfit that's old and boring to you could be new and fresh to one of your friends.
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