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Dow Jones today, Aug. 15, 2014: U.S. stocks slumped Friday, turning downward from early gains this morning, after new reports emerged of rising geopolitical conflict in Ukraine. This morning, a Ukrainian military leader said his forces had attacked a column of Russian armored trucks that crossed the border.
The Nasdaq rallied at the end of the day, after big gains from Agile Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: AGRX), UBIC Inc. (Nasdaq ADR: UBIC), Actions Semiconductor Co. Ltd. (Nasdaq ADR: ACTS), and its top daily performer Monster Beverage Corp. (Nasdaq: MNST).
New week, leaders of the U.S. Federal Reserve will be meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyo., for the central bank's annual economic symposium. The meeting is expected to provide significant focus on the labor market and some focus on monetary policy for the road ahead.
Here's the scorecard from today's trading session:
Dow: 16,662.91, -50.67 (-0.30%)
Nasdaq: 4,464.93, +11.92 (+0.27%)
S&P 500: 1,955.06, -0.12 (-0.01%)
Now, here are the top stories from today:
- Energized: Shares of Monster Beverage Corp. (Nasdaq: MNST) were up more than 30% the day after The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) announced plans to purchase 16.7% of the company for $2.15 billion in cash. The agreement will provide Coca-Cola with two members on Monster's board of directors, and Monster will transfer its non-energy business lines, including Hansen's Natural Sodas and Peace Tea, to Coke. In exchange, Coca-Cola will transfer ownership of its energy business lines – which includes Full Throttle, Burn, and NOS – to Monster. Shares of Coca-Cola were up more than 1.5% on the day. Get all the details on the Monster Beverage/Coca-Cola deal right here…
- Pharma on Fire: Shares of Allergan Inc. (NYSE: AGN) were up more than 1.5% on news that some of Wall Street's most prominent investors have followed Bill Ackman's position in the pharmaceutical giant. According to regulatory filings, the list of major investors in the Botox manufacturer now includes John Paulsen, Andreas Halvorsen, and James Dinan. The move suggests that many expect that Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE:VRX) will be able to acquire the company.
- Roaring Engines: Shares of Tesla Motors Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) slipped marginally, down 0.2% on the day. The slight downturn ended the electric vehicle manufacturer's string of four straight winning sessions. Tesla had a very strong week, up more than 5% over the last five sessions, and it's just shy of its 52-week high. Expert Money Morning analysis: These Numbers Show Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA) Stock's Long-Term Potential.
- Retail Slide: Shares of J C Penney Company Inc. (NYSE: JCP) were down more than 2% on the day after investors sold after a positive earnings report yesterday. The company is currently engaged in a turnaround strategy and saw shares appreciate more than 120% since it hit an all-time low earlier this year. Though the company continues to outperform Wall Street expectations, investors took yesterday's bump as a chance to take some profits off the table.
- Merger Mania: Consolidation in the pharmaceutical industry isn't slowing down. This afternoon, Reuters reported that Roche Holding Ltd. (OTCMKTS ADR: RHHBY) is looking to purchase the remaining 40% stake in Japan's Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. that it doesn't own. The price tag is estimated to be around $10 billion for the remaining shares.
Now our experts share some of the most important investment moves to make based on today's market trading – for Money Morning Members only: