Stock index futures slide on Thursday.» Read More
Merck, Germany's drugs and chemicals group, received four final bids for its generics drugs business, sources familiar with the situation said on Monday.
The decision was widely expected, after a panel of FDA advisers two weeks ago voted 20-1 against approving the drug, Arcoxia.
Several other major drug companies were apparently interested in buying MedImmune, including Merck, Eli Lilly and possibly Novartis, CNBC’s David Faber reported Tuesday.
Demand for a free vaccine against cervical cancer is outstripping supply in New Hampshire, which was the first state in the country to approve free distribution of the vaccine, which protects girls against four strains of a sexually transmitted infection called human papillomavirus, or HPV.
A Texas judge overseeing lawsuits against Merck over its withdrawn pain drug Vioxx dismissed a case, rejecting the plaintiff's claim that she was not properly informed of the health risks associated with the medicine, Merck said late on Friday.
Pfizer said quarterly earnings fell 18%, hurt by one-time charges and anemic sales of inhaled diabetes drug Exubera, plunging demand for drugs facing generic competition. The world's largest drugmaker also warned its 2007 earnings will be below Wall Street expectations due to the unexpectedly swift introduction of cheaper generic forms of its hypertension treatment Norvasc.
Stocks closed mixed but the Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up to another record as investors awaited key quarterly reports after the bell. "You still have some pretty important earnings coming out that are going to set the tone," said Adam Tracy, director of listed trading at Thomas Weisel Partners.
Schering-Plough reported strong first-quarter results, surpassing consensus estimates by a wide margin due to robust sales of cholesterol drugs and allergy treatments.
Merck said quarterly earnings rose as booming sales of newer medicines offset declines in older products, and said it plans to seek U.S. approval in 2009 for a migraine-headache treatment now entering late-stage trials.
China's rapid growth is a double-edged sword and today it is cutting into world equities markets. Asian and European markets were lower and U.S. stocks are pointing at a weaker opening, with the Dow, fresh off a new high, looking particularly wobbly. Earnings news is also setting the tone.
MedImmune may be close to completing a sale of the company just days after the drugmaker said it hired Goldman Sachs to explore opportunities, sources told CNBC's David Faber on Wednesday. "They are looking to get this deal done over the weekend," Faber said. "Monday morning is what I'm hearing."
Merck and GlaxoSmithKline both released news about their respective treatments for human papillomavirus Tuesday, leaving them "duking it out over what's expected to be the multi-billion dollar HPV cervical cancer vaccine market," reported CNBC's Mike Huckman.
Merck said on Tuesday that it has submitted an application with U.S. regulators to market its cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil for vaginal and vulvar cancer also.
Here's our look at contest stocks from Thursday's close to Friday's close. Old stand by Freemont General brought owners/sellers some new gains. The most active and widely held stocks remained pretty much the same as they have been. One of the best performers Cott, was up on consolidation news involving Cadbury. Here's the breakdown:
It’s Friday, and that means it’s time to huddle up for Cramer’s plays for next week. Investing can be confusing. Luckily, Cramer has mapped out some road rules for all you Home Gamers trying to navigate the jungle that is Wall Street. Think of it as "Mad Money 101" –- some fundamental advice to keep in mind as you play the market. Whether you're a first time investor or a seasoned financier, it's always good to remember the basics.
Stocks closed higher Friday following positive earnings guidance from a handful of big companies, pushing the major indexes up for the week. Bullish quarterly earnings forecasts by both Merck and McDonald's lifted the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which ended up 0.4% for the week. The S&P 500 rose 0.6%, while the Nasdaq climbed 0.8%.
Superstition be darned. Shares of Dow component Merck are trading above $50 intra-day. That's the first time they've crossed 50 since October 9, 2003--nearly one year before the company pulled Vioxx off the market. So, what's going on?
Merck shares rose sharply Friday after the drugmaker raised its outlook for first-quarter and full-year earnings, citing strong sales across its range of products, and said a federal court judge dismissed a class-action securities lawsuit against the company.
Inflation data could play a big role in setting the course for stocks, which so far are looking for direction ahead of the opening. Asia markets were mostly lower, while Europe's stock markets this morning are mostly higher.
Merck's new pain reliever drug Arcoxia, which was proposed as a successor to Vioxx, was rejected by a federal health advisory panel. A Food and Drug Administration drug safety expert earlier told the panel that the drug may increase substantially the risk of stroke and heart attack and is no more effective for pain relief than other medicines in the same class.