Stocks Merck & Co Inc

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    I'm back at Merck HQ in central Jersey for the annual analyst meeting. And I must say that the reception--so far, at least--is much more hospitable and helpful than last year wen things were tense and got a little ugly. A new pr team is in place.

  • Merck Tuesday reaffirmed its earnings forecast and said it plans to begin late-stage trials next year on a drug to raise "good" HDL cholesterol that has not been dogged by the problems that sank a similar high-profile drug being developed by Pfizer.

  • How aggressive will the Fed be? They are expected to cut 25 basis points and many are expecting a 50 basis point cut in the discount rate. Some are also expecting new innovations to encourage banks to use the discount window.

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    Earlier this week I blogged about Amgen's negative test results for its anemia drug Aranesp in breast cancer. The studies showed the drug may have caused tumors to grow and death. This morning it almost seems like there's a delayed market reaction.

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    I don't know how they all got clustered together--maybe so many of the major pharmaceutical companies meet with Wall Street in early December so everyone can then take off on long vacations--but my hands are full with three big pharma events in as many days. Yesterday, Merck put out guidance.

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    Merck gave profit forecasts for 2007 and 2008 that were mostly below expectations.

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    Shares of Dow component Merck are trading lower in the very early going this morning after the country's second-biggest drug company didn't blow people away with its 2008 financial guidance. Merck puts out its new forecast a week ahead of its annual analyst meeting, so it can focus more on its drug development pipeline at the event.

  • Cramer makes the call on viewers' favorite stocks.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.

  • Futures lower this morning on pressure from the financials. The UBS headline for the bank analyst report this morning tells the story: lower earnings ahead. They are adjusting their 2008 earnings expectations for many banks and brokers.

  • Shares of Addex Pharmaceuticals SA jumped Monday after the Swiss company said it entered a license agreement with U.S.-based Merck to develop a new class of orally available drugs to treat Parkinson's disease and perhaps other conditions.

  • Regarding my post from yesterday about Lilly CEO Sidney Taurel, a spokesman  left me a voicemail this morning to say it has no intention of backing out of the interview next week. I've got a tentative commitment from Bristol-Myers Squibb to interview its new CEO Jim Cornelius for the first time at that company's analyst meeting next week.

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    During regular trading hours on Tuesday, Merck shares hit 60 bucks. If you bought the stock about two years ago and held it, you've doubled your money. Merck traded for 45 bucks and change the day before the company recalled Vioxx. It hadn't been above 60 since mid-2003. This has to go down as one of the greatest comeback stories in history.

  • If you eat it, drink it or smoke it - then buy it.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.

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    So, does this mean I'm gonna get scooped by Reuters on Merck stories? I'm just kidding, but that was one of my reactions when I saw the press release this morning from Merck announcing that it's putting the CEO of Reuters, Tom Glocer, on its Board of Directors. The head of a financial data and news company on the Board of a major drug company. Very interesting.

  • Vertex Pharmaceuticals said Merck & Co halted enrollment on trials of their investigational leukemia drug MK-0457 due to a potential heart safety issue in one patient.

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    US stocks closed sharply lower Friday on an incessant stream of bad news in financials and technology that bled over into the rest of the market.

  • Merck Vioxx

    Merck has agreed to pay $4.85 billion to settle claims that its painkiller Vioxx caused heart attacks and strokes in thousands of users, the drugmaker said Friday.

  • The surprising Vioxx settlement brought me back to the office today in the middle of my vacation--I could've literally phoned it in as I did on "Squawk Box" this morning, but as long as I was in town, I'm too hard core to stay at home working around the house when a big story like this one breaks on my beat.

  • AstraZeneca has won U.S. approval to market its cholesterol-lowering drug Crestor to treat the clogging of arteries, which may boost sales of the blockbuster drug in an increasingly competitive market.

  • Novartis

    Novartis has found safety problems in higher doses of its key Galvus diabetes drug and will revise prescribing recommendations before launching in Europe.