Market News: Westlake Chemical, Vascular Biogenics, Mallinckrodt

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The stock markets in the United States gained today except the Russell 2000. Investors feel optimistic about the country’s growth amid the reassuring statements from the officials of the Federal Reserve.

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In an interview with Bloomberg, Richard Sichel, chief investment officer at Philadelphia Trust Co said, “There are a lot if Fed people coming out and trying to be transparent following last week’s selloff, but in some cases that leading to more investor confusion.”

Sichel added, “There are so many brilliant people talking every day that it’s difficult to sort it all out. There’s still a tremendous amount of nervousness.”

Last week, the Federal Reserve decided to maintain the current 0% to 0.25% target range for the federal funds rate, which led to the biggest post-meeting selloff since July last year.


Bloomberg noted that four Federal Reserve officials stated that the U.S. economy is strong enough to endure an interest rate hike. Their statement suggested a continued domestic growth, which could overshadow concerns regarding the global economic situation.

Market analysts suggested that the Federal Reserve will not probably increase interest rates this year based on how Chairperson Janet Yellen presented the deliberation of the policymakers on the issue.

Andrew Brenner, head of international fixed income at National Alliance Capital Markets commented, “Raising rates will show confidence in the economy. The way the Fed justified not raising rates by bringing in China and emerging markets got people really confused as to what the Fed is focusing on, and equity markets would like to see the Fed raise because they need to have that uncertainty reduced.”

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 16, 510.19 (+0.77%)
  • S&P 500- 1,966.97 (+0.46%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,828.95 (+0.04%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,161.12 (-0.19%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,184.72 (+0.87%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,108.71 (+0.08%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,948.51 (+0.33%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 18,070.21 (-1.96%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 21,756.93 (-0.75%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 3,308.25 (+1.75%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Westlake Chemical surged almost 7% to $55.70 per share. The company benefited from the statement of a senior official from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that petrochemical companies may be eligible for tax-exempt status. The agency is reconsidering a proposal that would have prevented companies from converting into MLPs.

Vascular Biogenics surged more than 18% to $8.10 per share. Analysts at JMP Securities upgraded their rating on the stock to Outperform.

Mallinckrodt declined more than 10% to $73.87 per share. The company recently announced that its wholly-owned subsidiaries entered an agreement to offer $750 million senior unsecured notes due 2023.


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