Lower open as oil prices drop

Oil prices dropped again to weigh the markets down to a lower open with the Dow falling 53 points to 18,086. Nasdaq lost 12 points to 4,943.

On the upside

Rigel Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: RIGL) entered a research and development collaboration agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) for the use of TGF beta receptor kinase inhibitors in cancer immunotherapies.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: VRX) will acquire Salix Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SLXP) in a cash deal valued at approximately $14.5 billion. Valeant also reported sharply higher fourth quarter earnings that topped analyst estimates as revenue rose.

Columbia University published promising results from a study of Biocept's (Nasdaq: BIOC) blood-based diagnostic OncoCEE-BR in determining hormonal status of metastatic breast cancer patients.

On the downside

Roth Capital downgraded Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SPPI) from a Buy rating to a Neutral rating.

Ocwen Financial (NYSE: OCN) will sell a $9.8 billion portfolio of residential mortgage servicing rights to Nationstar (NYSE: NSM).

JPMorgan Chase downgraded CyberArk Software (Nasdaq: CYBR) from a Neutral rating to an Underweight rating.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 4 on the NYSE and by nearly 3 to 2 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 lost 6 points 2103. Bitcoin eased $1 to $231.
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