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Pharmacy benefit managers (PBM) administer drug benefits for employers and health plans and run large mail order pharmacies, helping them get better prices from drugmakers. As employers look to cut prescription costs on expensive drugs, the deal with Catamaran will give UnitedHealth's pharmacy benefits unit, OptumRx, the scale to negotiate favorable prices from pharmacy companies. The purchase of Catamaran will increase UnitedHealth's market share to 15 percent to 20 percent of the people who receive their drug benefits through pharmacy benefit managers, BMO Capital Markets analyst Jennifer Lynch said in a research note.
U.S. consumer spending barely rose in February as households boosted savings to their highest level in more than two years, the latest sign that the economy hit a soft patch in the first quarter. "Even if the first quarter is weak, the outlook for consumption over the remainder of this year looks good," said Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics in Toronto. The Commerce Department said on Monday that consumer spending edged up 0.1 percent after dropping 0.2 percent in January. Economists polled by Reuters had expected consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, to increase 0.2 percent last month.
When people started speculating who would replace Jon Stewart as host of The Daily Show, Trevor Noah's name probably wasn't high on anyone's list. No-one can replace Jon Stewart. It's the same kind of thing you'd say about John Oliver, whose brief stint as TDS guest host served as a launching pad for a wildly successful HBO show, Last Week Tonight. Noah, who was the subject of David Meyer's documentary You Laugh But It's True (available on Netflix), was the first stand-up comedian from South Africa to appear on The Late Show with David Letterman.
By Lauren Tara LaCapra NEW YORK (Reuters) - Morgan Stanley has agreed to sell a compressed natural gas business that came under regulatory scrutiny shortly after its launch last year, according to a document obtained by Reuters and three people familiar with the matter. The bank will transfer the gas business, Wentworth, to a newly formed company called Pentagon Energy LLC. Two Morgan Stanley managers who were involved with Wentworth, Alberto Chiesara and Ryan Comerford, are leaving to join the new company as principals, according to those sources. Simon Greenshields, who had been co-head of Morgan Stanley's commodities business until January and was earlier said to be seeking to leave the bank through a Wentworth sale, is not joining Pentagon Energy. Pentagon's plan is to take advantage of low natural gas prices in North America by exporting the commodity via container ships to under-served markets in the Caribbean and Central America.
Oil prices fell on Monday as officials from Iran and six world powers discussed a possible deal over Tehran's nuclear programme that could bring an end to sanctions and allow an increase in Iranian oil exports. "Regarding Iran, there are two possible outcomes: a framework deal or an extended deadline," Bjarne Schieldrop, chief commodities analyst at SEB Markets in Oslo, told the Reuters Global Oil Forum. Brent crude was down 25 cents at $56.16 a barrel by 1250 GMT as the market began to price in a deal with Iran. Oil markets are well supplied and recent figures show global production outstripping demand by around 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd), filling oil inventories.
With the Game of Thrones season five premiere only two weeks away, it looks like Arya Stark is now set to make a brief escape from her saga. Showrunner Steven Moffat said in an official statement that he's thrilled to have Williams on set, and, though he can't say what role she'll play, her character "will challenge the Doctor in very unexpected ways." Williams, for her part, stated that she's "excited to be working on Doctor Who as it’s such a big and important part of British Culture.
LONDON (Reuters) - Barclays has hired Barry Meyers, a former executive director at JP Morgan , to head its UK equity capital markets (ECM) team, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday. Meyers will start at the bank in July and report to Tom Johnson, co-head of ECM for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the source said. The hiring comes after Chris Madderson was named EMEA head of equities syndicate at the bank last year. Last month, Barclays hired Philip Shelley, Goldman Sachs's co-head of UK corporate broking. ...
Comedy Central has found a new host for The Daily Show: Trevor Noah, a South African comedian who has appeared as a contributor to the show three times over the past year. According to The New York Times, Noah will be announced as Jon Stewart's replacement today. Noah may be a surprising choice, both as a lesser-known name and with respect to the wealth of regular talent on The Daily Show that Comedy Central is passing over, but as a standup comedian and a series contributor, Noah has consistently offered thoughtful perspectives on social issues and international news stories. A date has not yet been set for Stewart's departure or Noah's debut as host. "I’m thrilled for the show and for Trevor," Stewart says in a statement, according to the Times.