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Valeant adjusted profit beats Street, but net loss widens


Canada's Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc (VRX. N) (VRX. TO) reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday, helped by lower costs and strength in its Bausch and Lomb eyecare business, but its net loss widened and the company said it was feeling pricing pressure. U.S.-listed shares were off at $15.83 in pre-market trading compared with a close of $16.71. A year ago, shares closed at $76.95. Since taking the helm last year, Chief Executive Joseph Papa has been trying to rebuild Valeant's business and regain investor confidence after the company came under investigation over its accounting and pricing practices. Laval, Quebec-based Valeant has also faced intense political scrutiny for hiking its drug prices as well as for the unorthodox use of a specialty pharmacy to boost sales. Net loss attributable to Valeant widened to $515 million, or $1.47 per share in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from $385 million, or $1.12 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, it earned $1.26 per share, beating analysts' average estimate of $1.19, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Selling, general and administrative costs declined 10.5 percent to $665 million.

Revenue fell 12.9 percent to $2.40 billion, but exceeded the average expectation of $2.33 billion. Valeant has also been shedding assets to reduce its debt load of about $30 billion. It announced the sale of its Dendreon cancer treatment business and three skincare brands for $2.12 billion last month.

U.S. fourth-quarter economic growth unrevised at 1.9 percent WASHINGTON, Feb 28 U.S. economic growth slowed in the fourth quarter as previously reported, with robust consumer spending offset by downward revisions to business and government investment.

Trump says 'revved up economy' will pay for budget proposals: Fox WASHINGTON President Donald Trump said he believes the extra $54 billion dollars he has proposed spending on the U.S. military will be offset by a stronger economy as well as cuts in other areas.

Futures flat ahead of Trump's address to Congress U.S. stock index futures were flat on Tuesday but hovered near all-time highs as investors awaited President Donald Trump's speech for details on his agenda for the economy.

Wall Street slips as financials, discretionary stocks drag


U.S. stocks dipped Tuesday morning, pulled lower by financial and consumer discretionary names, and as investors focused on President Donald Trump's first speech to a joint session of Congress. Trump's promises of tax reform, infrastructure spending and simpler regulations have sparked a post-election rally that has propelled the main U.S. market indexes to record highs. The address at 9:00 p.m. ET (0200 GMT) could touch on tax reforms, defense spending and his plans to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system. Indicating investors' focus on Trump's speech for clues on how he planned to implement his agenda, reaction was largely muted to data that showed U.S. economic growth slowed in the fourth quarter."If he gives minimal detail this evening, then perhaps we might get a little bit wind out of the sails on this recent equity move," said Erik Wytenus, global investment specialist at J. P. Morgan Private Bank.

Trump's comments on "big" infrastructure spending on Monday helped the Dow Jones Industrial Average . DJI mark its 12 straight record close, a feat not seen since 1987. At 9:42 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average . DJI was down 19.01 points, or 0.09 percent, at 20,818.43, the S&P 500 . SPX was down 3.86 points, or 0.16 percent, at 2,365.89 and the Nasdaq Composite . IXIC was down 11.68 points, or 0.2 percent, at 5,850.22. Nine of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, with financials . SPSY dropping the most by 0.3 percent.

Charles Schwab (SCHW. N) was the top drag on the financial sector after the company said it would reduce its ETF trade and online equity commissions, following similar cuts by Fidelity Investments. Target (TGT. N) was the biggest percentage loser on the S&P, dropping 13.2 percent after the big-box retailer warned sales could continue to decline this year. Shares of bigger rival Wal-Mart (WMT. N) were off 2.3 percent. Perrigo (PRGO. N) dropped 10 percent to $75.72 after the drugmaker said it would delay filing its annual report and would review past accounting practices.

U.S. economy slows in the fourth-quarter; consumer spending remains bright spot WASHINGTON U.S. economic growth slowed in the fourth quarter as previously reported, with robust consumer spending offset by downward revisions to business and government investment.

Comcast to buy remaining 49 percent stake in Universal Studios Japan U.S. cable and media company Comcast Corp said on Tuesday it would buy the 49 percent it does not already own in Universal Studios Japan (USJ) in a deal valued at 254.8 billion yen ($2.27 billion).

JPMorgan to spend more to grow credit cards, improve technology JPMorgan Chase & Co , the largest U.S. lender, plans to spend more this year to grow its credit-card business and stay competitive in an industry that has become increasingly technology-focused.