Stock index futures slide on Thursday.» Read More
Two days after Pfizer named new CEO Jeff Kindler Chairman of the Board, Merck has promoted its CEO Dick Clark to Chairman as well. Clark has been on the job a year longer than Kindler and Merck's stock has performed about three times better than Pfizer shares this year. Former Pfizer CEO Hank McKinnell was expected to remain Chairman through next February, when he will leave the Board altogether, but the directors decided to give Kindler an early Christmas present.
Merck won two more Vioxx cases in three days. Last Wednesday it got a victory in another federal case and then on Friday, it picked up a win in an Alabama trial. The drug company says it is now 9 and 4. The stock closed up 40 cents on the news. And before Christmas there could be another Vioxx verdict.
An Alabama state court jury deliberated for less than two hours before finding for the drug maker on two counts.
A New Orleans jury handed Merck a victory today in the latest federal Vioxx product liability trial, finding that the drugmaker adequately warned of the heart risks associated with the medicine.
Stocks closed lower amid muted reaction to the Federal Reserve's decision to leave interest rates unchanged.
At the Merck annual analyst day here in company headquarters in central New Jersey, the company revealed for the first time what many on the Street had suspected: it has a so-called CETP inhibitor in the drug development pipeline. That's the same type of drug that Pfizer pulled the plug on last week because of an increased risk of death.
Merck said it plans to seek U.S. approvals next year for drugs to treat HIV, cholesterol and insomnia, and aims to have another four products in late-stage trials by mid-2007.
Merck is holding its annual analyst meeting today. On this morning’s "Squawk Box", CNBC'S pharmaceuticals reporter Mike Huckman explained why investors are so eager to learn about this company's R & D developments. Huckman says the major issue is whether Pfizer’s loss of torcetrapib, a cholesterol treatment, could be Merck’s gain...
From the Pfizer shocker about Torcetrapib, to new guidance from Merck and Lilly, to the FDA Advisory Committee meeting on the safety of drug-coated stents -- it was an incredibly busy week. Some final thoughts on the stent meeting...
There will be plenty of news for investors to digest with several Dow heavyweights, including General Electric, Procter & Gamble, and Hewlett-Packard, all hosting analyst meetings this week.
GLOBAL STOCKS: U.S. stocks are flat to higher ahead of the opening as investors watch for interest rate news from the Europe. Stocks cooled off Wednesday--after a two day climb earlier this week nudged the Dow back to striking distance of its all time high. Tokyo stocks rose overnight. European stocks are higher-helped by a takeover approach for Gallaher Group. And oil is firmer this morning.
The major market indexes took a breather today – all closing modestly lower - in spite of a strong ADP report showing an extra 158,000 jobs added in the private sector in November. Mary Thompson sorted out the market activity – she’s CNBC’s “Eye on the Floor.” Investors are now looking to the jobs report to create some movement in the markets. That’s due out Friday.
Stocks closed modestly lower as investors took a pause ahead of Friday's key employment report.
The once "invincible" Pharmaceuticals sector is showing new signs of weakness. Today Merck announced that it expects slightly higher profits in 2007. Yet in spite of that--Merck shares fell 1.5 percent in heavy early trading. And just days ago, Pfizer hit a roadblock and stopped development of what was thought to be its most promising drug.
Merck is standing by its forecast of flat earnings for 2006 and projected slightly higher 2007 results, in line with Wall Street expectations, as the drugmaker grapples with generic competition for a number of its medicines.
So, it took the torpedoeing of torcetrapib to get new Pfizer CEO Jeff Kindler to finally talk to us. He came on "Power Lunch" today for his first TV interview since taking the helm more than four months ago. A former litigator, he is media savvy, telegenic and a smooth-talker. I don't know why he didn't come on before he was put in the position of serious crisis management with a major hole to fill in the company's drug pipeline and about a ten percent decline in the stock price.
Earlier this year a crew working for documentary filmmaker Michael Moore "crashed" the major scientific oncology conference in Atlanta. Moore's reportedly working on a movie with the working title of "Sicko" about the country's healthcare system and the pharmaceutical industry.
Pfizer CEO Jeffrey Kindler expressed disappointment about the failure of the company's new cholesterol drug but said Pfizer plans to continue growing through strategic acquisitions.
We told you earlier about the U.S. stock selloff--but they ended up, making comeback and bouncing off their lows of the session. There was that triple digit sell-off late in the afternoon only to see a rally in the last half hour of trading. CNBC's Mary Thompson has all the details in "Eye On The Floor."