The Dow Jones industrial average and the NASDAQ compositeindex both closed at record highs Wednesday, but the upwardtrend had little impact on prices for biotechnology stocks,which showed mixed results. The Dow was up 17.57 at3,004.46, and NASDAQ closed at 511.31, up 4.56.
Much of the movement in biotech stocks was based on hearsay.Genentech Inc. stock (NYSE:GNE) rose for the secondconsecutive day, closing at $30.50, up 75 cents. The stockclosed at $28 on Monday on rumors that Roche Holdings Ltd.,which owns 60 percent of Genentech, might be planning to buythe rest of Genentech sooner than its 1995 deadline.
A Genentech spokeswoman said the company has a policy of notcommenting on any financial deals by Roche. Genentech is dueto announce its quarterly earnings today.
Xoma Corp. (NASDAQ:XOMA) and Centocor Inc. (NASDAQ:CNTO)stocks also moved amid speculation that their septic shockproducts might be reviewed by a Food and Drug Administrationadvisory committee in July. Xoma rose $2 on Tuesday and $2.50on Wednesday, closing at $31 on the strength of two positiveanalyst reports and news that the International TradeCommission has decided to proceed with an investigation intoan alleged trade law violation by Centocor.
The ITC will review Xoma's complaint against Centocor'simports of its Centoxin septic shock drug independently of apatent trial scheduled to begin in July. Xoma has filed a patentinfringement suit against Centocor, and Centocor hascountersued. In March, an ITC judge had recommended that theITC hold off on a ruling until the patent trial was decided.Centocor closed down $1.88 at $76.63.
Biotech bellwether stock Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) closeddown $1.50 at $132. The stock has ranged between $124.25 and$133.50 for the past two weeks. The next event anticipated bythe company is the release of year-end results in early May.
Immunex Corp. stock (NASDAQ:IMNX) hasn't yet regained theground it has lost since a negative analyst report sent thestock tumbling from $57 on April 5. The stock closed at$47.50, up $2.25.
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