Stocks selloff, dollar soars; Buyback bonanza continues; Drug spending jumps

A sell-off is underway on Wall Street.  All three major indexes (^DJI), (^GSPC) ,(^IXIC) fell more than 1% in early trading as the dollar soars to new highs and oil prices fall.

Yahoo Finances Michael Santoli says investors are concerned about the big moves in the U.S. dollar.

“People are nervous about the pace… and maybe the potential ugliness of this move in the Dollar/Euro (EURUSD=X) as it represents just sort of a disorderly market,” Santoli notes.

The euro falling below $ 1.08 for the first time in 8-years after the European Central bank began is massive bonding buying program. 

The pace of stock buybacks is picking up one again this month after hitting a record in February .

Related: Urban Outfitters hits a billion; Qualcomm stock buyback; Twitter grabs Periscope

Qualcomm (QCOM)  said it’s buying back at least $ 10 billion worth of stock over the next year. The company is also boosting its quarterly dividend by 14% to 48 cents a share.  This comes just after General Motors (GM) announced a $ 5-billion dollar buyback.   

Companies announced a record $ 118.32 billion in buybacks last month according to Birinyi Associates.

Santoi expects the trend to continue as long as the corporate debt and stock market remain strong. 

Retail Earnings continue to trickle in… Urban Outfitters shares (URBN) reporting an earnings per share beat while revenue came it line with estimates for its holiday quarter. Sales topping the $ 1 billion mark for the first time, jumping 11.5% from a year earlier thanks to same store sales growth across all its brands. Shares of Urban Outfitters are higher on the news.

Credit Suisse (CS) is getting a new boss. The Swiss banking giant announcing that Tidjane Thiam chief of London based Prudential will take the helm at the company later this year, replacing Brady Dougan, who has led Credit Suisse for eight years. Credit Suisse shares are sharply higher on the news. 

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Twitter (TWTR) is building up its video portfolio. The social media firm is buying Periscope, a live-streaming video app, which is actually not even on the market yet.

Related: Twitter likes the Periscope view

And Prescription drug spending increased by more than 12% last year, the biggest annual raise in over a decade, according to a report from Express Scripts Holding. The spending hike was driven in part by price increases for diabetes and cancer drugs, as well as demand for new Hepatitis C treatment.

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