Sector Wrap: Pharmaceuticals, Financials, REITs

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March 18, 2010 2:51pm NASDAQ:IBB NYSE:IYF

It was announced that Ratiopharm had accepted a bid from Teva for about $5 billion. The combined company will have a strong presence in Europe as Ratiopharm is the #2 generic drug maker in Germany. Despite the positive news

, the iShares Biotech ETF (IBB) is lagging the markets this week, off 0.4% on the week including today’s gains.

Discover Financial Services (DFS) and Hartford Financial (HIG) both announced plans to repay their TARP funds. Discover plans to raise $350 million in subordinate debt to help repay the $1.2 billion in bailout funds and Hartford Financial will repay its $3.4 billion balance by issuing new stock and debt. This news has helped lift the financial sector as the iShares Financial ETF (IYF) is trading higher by about 1.7% on the week despite today’s losses.

Simon Properties (SPG) may increase its bid for General Growth Properties (GGP) as soon as next week. REITs in general have been on a tear this week, as the iShares US Real Estate ETF (IYR) has gained more than three and a half percent including today’s modest losses.

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