The euro was stuck near its lowest level since November and Russian shares tumbled for a third straight day on Monday as new European sanctions for Moscow chilled the already frosty relationship between the two. The 28-nation EU reached an outline agreement on Friday on its first economic sanctions on Russia, which said the moves would hamper cooperation between the two and undermine the fight against terrorism. Having suffered on Friday, Europe's main bourses were again subdued. There was more pain for Russian stocks after a report that shareholders in defunct oil producer Yukos had won a $50 billion international court case against Russia.
Pfizer Inc's vulnerability to cheaper generics and its weak roster of experimental medicines will be on display Tuesday when the company reports quarterly earnings, reviving interest in its pursuit of AstraZeneca Plc or other deals to fortify its pipeline. While many industry watchers expect Pfizer to re-engage with Britain's AstraZeneca in coming months, some say the U.S. drugmaker should consider targets more focused on biotechnology, a strategy that has paid off for Merck & Co and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. Although Pfizer is conducting trials of promising products - including breast cancer drug palbociclib and vaccines against meningitis and staph aureus - it needs far more drugs to generate meaningful sales growth, said Ori Hershkovitz, analyst with the Tel Aviv-based Sphera Fund, which holds Pfizer shares. "Pfizer is in a very desperate spot, having seen most of its pipeline disappoint and facing multiple patent expirations," he said.
President Barack Obama could act without congressional approval to limit a key incentive for U.S. corporations to move their tax domiciles abroad in so-called "inversion" deals, a former senior U.S. Treasury Department official said on Monday. By invoking a 1969 tax law, Obama could bypass congressional gridlock and restrict foreign tax-domiciled U.S companies from using inter-company loans and interest deductions to cut their U.S. tax bills, said Stephen Shay, former deputy assistant Treasury secretary for international tax affairs in the Obama administration.