Pfizer drug mega-merger pushes up US - New York Report

SHARES bounced with oil prices on Wall Street yesterday, sending the markets higher. Meanwhile news Pfizer would buy Hospira in a massive deal further boosted the market.

The S&P energy index jumped 1.5 per cent as oil prices rebounded sharply from a rout in the previous session. US crude rose 4.2 per cent to settle at $50.48 following increased violence in producer Libya and on an expected boost in oil demand from China’s central bank easing.

Some Eurozone concerns eased as well. Greece proposed a bridging programme until the end of May to allow time for debt talks, vowing to do everything in its power to avoid default. On Wednesday, the European Central Bank (ECB) abruptly said it would stop accepting Greek bonds in return for funds.

“The market’s trying to get its hands around what’s going on in Greece. There was an expectation it might blow up. Now, certainly in the short term, it looks like we won’t be seeing any fireworks,” said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial.

Pfizer was among the biggest boosts to the S&P 500 after it said it would buy Hospira for about $15bn (£9.8bn) to boost its portfolio of generic injectable drugs and copies of biotech medicines. Hospira shares jumped 35.2 per cent to $87.64 while Pfizer gained 2.9 per cent $32.99.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 211.86 points, or 1.2 per cent, to 17,884.88, the S&P 500 gained 21.01 points, or 1.03 per cent, to 2,062.52 and the Nasdaq Composite added 48.39 points, or 1.03 per cent, to 4,765.10.