Health insurer hacked and Greek drama — 5 things to know today
Hello friends and Fortune readers.
U.S. stock futures are on the rise this morning, signaling that the S&P 500 index will extend this week’s gains. Asian indexes closed the day mixed. European markets, however, aren’t having such a rosy day. European stocks are down and Greek bonds declined following the central bank’s decision to restrict lending to the faltering nation’s banks.
The European Central bank said it won’t accept junk-rated collateral from Greece given concerns that it’s reneging on its reform pledges. The Greek and German finance ministers meet today in Berlin. The two will likely butt heads over Greece’s desire to roll back austerity measures.
Here’s what else you need to know today.
1. Hackers going after health insurer.
Anthem, the second largest U.S. health insurer with nearly 40 million customers nationwide, said that hackers breached one of its IT systems, taking off with reams of customers’ and employees’ personal information. While the insurer said the “very sophisticated attack” didn’t involve medical information or financial details, it did include names, birthdays, social security numbers, street addresses, e-mails and employment information.
2. Pfizer pays up for Hospira.
Pfizer (PFE) agreed to pay around $15 billion for Hospira (HSP), a leading provider of injectable drugs and infusion technology. The New York-based drugmaker will pay $90 a share in cash, a 39% premium to Hospira’s closing price Wednesday. The deal gives Pfizer access to Hospira’s biosimilars business. Pfizer, which failed in its $118 billion bid to buy U.K.-based AstraZeneca last year, has been looking for new sources of growth as it loses patent protections on its top drugs.
3. Twitter leads Thursday’s tech earnings.
Twitter (TWTR), Yelp (YELP), GoPro (GPRO) and LinkedIn (LNKD) all report quarterly earnings after the market closes today.
Twitter will be looking to make its case to Wall Street this go-around. Investors have been worried about slowing user growth as well as the upper management shuffle that brought in a new chief financial officer. Look out for how revenue is growing, as well as the gain in monthly active users. Analysts expect Twitter to grow its base by about 20% to 290 million users.
4. Also on the Twitter front, it cut a deal with Google on search.
Twitter struck a deal with Google (GOOG) to make its massive tweet stockpile more searchable online, reported Bloomberg. Within the next several months, tweets will start to pop up in Google search results. Google previously didn’t have direct access to Twitter’s database and would have to trawl through the site for information. Now the tweets will be quickly visible. The move helps get the 140-character missives seen by more non-users and generate advertising revenue from a larger audience, which Twitter hopes will ultimately drive more users to its service.
5. EU’s 2015 growth forecast is slightly better than expected.
European Union officials announced this year’s growth across the 28-nation bloc is expected to hit 1.7%, up from the 1.5% predicted in November. Falling oil prices, a weaker euro and the European Central Bank’s monetary easing all contributed to the brighter outlook. The region has struggled with economic stagnation since the financial crisis, and 2015 would be the first time in eight years that all economies of the bloc are expected to grow.