Merck reported lower sales, just below Wall Street estimates, hurt by competition from cheaper generic medicines.» Read More
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Amgen outstripped Wall Street's earnings expectations with a second-quarter profit of $1.12 a share. Sales came in at $3.73 billion, also higher than consensus forecasts. The company also said its most important experimental drug, denosumab, met all its goals in a pivotal clinical trial of breast cancer patients.
Besides dissapointing earnings from Texas Instruments and Dupont, traders are watching several factors this morning. "Right now we're seeing a variety of crosscurrent's that we haven't seen in some time," says Andrew Bekoff, chief investment strategist at Printz Capial Management.
After a disappointing week for big pharma earnings, Merck and Schering-Plough start the second-half of the sector's reporting season with a bang. Both companies beat the Street on the top and bottom lines. Merck also raised its full-year earnings guidance to boot. And investors love it. Look at the huge move in the Dow component.
Mergers and acquisitions and a generous portion of quarterly earnings along with OPEC news is turning the stock market picture back to the plus side after Friday's selloff, though looming in the background are credit market concerns.
The headline might say, "Johnson & Johnson Beats the Street," but investors are looking behind it and that's what is pushing this Dow component down this morning. For example, JNJ says its topline growth would have been just 3.6% instead of 13% if it had not bought Pfizer's consumer health care business last year for $16.6 billion. JNJ is kind of a three-pronged hybrid: pharma, medical devices and consumer healthcare.
Many analysts are facing this week's flood of earnings with a healthy dose of skepticism, knowing that results will once again have to exceed Wall Street's expectations to continue the market's advance. The earnings parade comes as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 trade at record highs with the blue-chip index touching 14,000 for the first time. But rally aside, analysts believe there are still issues hanging over the market, which have caused a large share of the volatility since June.
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Ariad Pharmaceuticals said a U.S. federal court ruled in favor of it and co-complainants in a patent infringement case against Eli Lilly, saying that the patent was valid and enforceable.
Amgen said on Monday it has agreed to buy privately held Ilypsa, which is developing a drug for chronic kidney disease, for $420 million in cash.
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In this feature CNBC Contributor Herb Greenberg takes down the traders over their picks. Click here to find out which hot stock has Herb and Jeff Macke in opposite corners.
Another setback for Amgen anemia-drug franchise sent shares of the No. 1 biotechnology company spiraling down as much as 6.6% on Tuesday -- to a 2-1/2-year low -- as more analysts cut their ratings on the beaten-down stock.
Sometimes the stocks that trade on hope lead only to despair. Investors in biotech companies Amgen (AMGN) and Dendreon (DNDN) suffered serious side effects this week as the FDA raised questions about the safety and effectiveness of their flagship drugs. Is there any hope for a sector that trades on hope?
The U.S. Supreme Court said it would not hear an appeal by drug maker Amgen that centers on how much leeway appeals courts should have in overruling the findings of lower courts in patent cases.
Stocks are looking for direction amid a flurry of takeover headlines this morning. Asian stocks were higher overnight on the back of Wall Street's Friday gains, but European markets are mostly weaker.
Stocks ended broadly higher after new economic data raised hopes of a Fed rate cut, and investors were quick to jump back into the market following recent declines. "I'm not surprised to see the market snap back," said Alec Young, market strategist at S&P Equity Research. "The market was kind of overbought -- it was an excellent opportunity for a shakeout."
Several investment banks slashed their ratings on Amgen shares following the disclosure that a U.S. advisory panel called for marketing restrictions on popular anemia drugs sold by Amgen and Johnson & Johnson.
M&A news and analyst actions were some of the catalysts behind the most actively traded stocks on Friday.
Stocks will take their direction from economic data today after yesterday's drenching from negative April chain store sales took the Dow down 147 points and bit 1.7% off the Nasdaq and 1.4% off the S&P 500. European markets are lower, following overnight weakness in Asian markets.