Roundup: S&P -0.45%, Dow -0.04%. Nasdaq -0.87%. Gold $1,602.10. London +0.38%. Germany +0.08%. France +0.53%.
Seven years of uncertainty and litigation have come to an end with the Supreme Court dismissing Swiss drug-major Novartis’ plea to get patent protection for its blood cancer drug Glivec. The ruling is a watershed as it defines the yardstick against which medicines will be measured before patents are granted. (BL) Natco Pharma, the maker of the generic version of the drug, to benefit. [stockquote]NATCOPHARM[/stockquote]
Standard Chartered: On the whole, the earnings season is more likely to disappoint rather than throwing any positive surprises. The market is expected to remain challenging in the near term on the back of worsening macro economic situation. (MC)
Fund managers who hold one-to-one meetings with company executives make significantly higher returns as a result. Some asset managers are spending “tens of millions of pounds” a year on buying access to senior executives and some hedge funds are paying as much as $20,000 an hour to meet a chief executive. (FT, study)
Meanwhile in the US, factory activity grew at the slowest rate in three months in March. ISM’s index of national factory activity fell to 51.3 last month from 54.2 in February. New orders, a key indicator of future growth, accounted for much of the drop in the index. (Yahoo)