GNC Deal Could Be In Jeopardy, Genocea Taming Herpes, Opexa Not Taming MS, Plus The Latest on Theravance

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The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSEARCA:SPY) has gained 0.21% this morning, in lockstep with the S&P 500, as it is wont to do. The ETF, which is weighted as close as possible to the index, is gaining this morning on solid GDP data as well as the announcement of a potential partnership deal between General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) and Baker Hughes Incorporated (NYSE:BHI).

General Electric, which is one of the most heavily-weighted stocks in the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSEARCA:SPY) thanks to its $257.98 billion market cap, has gained 2.27% this morning, as analysts believe that the timing is right for it to ally with Baker Hughes, further expanding its subsea presence.

In economic news, U.S. GDP rose by 2.9% during the third quarter on an annualized basis, more than double the second quarter growth rate of 1.4% and the highest rate in two years. GDP growth topped estimates of 2.6% despite consumer spending growth coming in slightly below estimates at 2.1%. Net exports accounted for over 0.8 percentage points of the GDP’s growth.

In the remainder of this article, we’ll take a look at four other stocks that are grabbing attention today, followed by a look at how hedge funds have been moving in and out of these stocks and ETFs of late.

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GNC Holdings Inc (NYSE:GNC) Gets Ravaged by Analysts

GNC Holdings Inc (NYSE:GNC) has slipped by 9.5% today after coming under attack by analysts, pushing the stock’s 2-day losses to over 25%. After its earnings miss yesterday, the company’s shares were downgraded by both Piper Jaffray (‘Underweight’ from ‘Neutral’) and Bank of America (‘Underperform’ from ‘Neutral’) this morning, along with both firms slashing their price targets on the stock (Piper lowered its target to $11 from $20, while BoA dropped its target on GNC shares to $13 from $23). Most notably, BoA analyst Curtis Nagle believes that the company’s poor quarterly results could seriously jeopardize its potential acquisition by one of a number of Chinese firms, describing the results as being “significantly” below expectations.

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Genocea Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ:GNCA) Showing Herpes Who’s Boss

Genocea Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ:GNCA) rocketed out of the gate this morning before settling down to 5% gains for the day after releasing positive data from the phase 2a trial for its genital herpes treatment GEN-003. The 12-month immunogenicity data supported the previous 12-month clinical data from the same trial, showing that the treatment delivered an antigen-specific antibody response for up to 12 months post-dosing. Among the findings was the fact that GEN-003 treatment resulted in the development of CD4+ polyfunctional T cells, which are considered superior to T cells which secrete only one mediator, as they deliver a multi-faceted immune response. Previously released clinical data from the trial showed that a single course of GEN-003 injections could be as effective at treating genital herpes as taking a daily oral antiviral treatment over the course of a year.

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Head to the next page for a look at two other stocks in the spotlight this morning, as well as a look at the latest hedge fund ownership of the stocks discussed in this article.

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