Merck anchors bulk of Dow's decline as stocks end lower
Merck's shares dropped 6% Thursday after the drugmaker stopped giving blood clotting drug to some clinical trial patients.
January 13th, 2011
09:01 PM ET

Merck anchors bulk of Dow's decline as stocks end lower

Stocks end lower, Intel posts best quarter 
Investors took a step back Thursday, with stocks ending lower ahead of Intel's blockbuster earnings.

The Dow Jones industrial average, lost 23.54 points, or 0.2% to close at 11,731.90 according to preliminary figures. The  S&P 500  slipped 2 points, or 0.2%, ending the day at 1,283.76, and the Nasdaq fell 2 points, or 0.1%, closing at 2,735.29.

After the bell, Intel reported the best fourth-quarter earnings in company history. The company posted earnings per share of 59 cents.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had forecast earnings of 53 cents per share. Revenue for the Santa Clara, Calif., company rose 3% over the previous year to $11.5 billion, topping analysts' forecasts of $11.37 billion.

The bulk of the Dow's decline for the day came from Merck, whose shares dropped 6% after the drugmaker said it stopped giving an experimental blood clotting drug to certain patients in a clinical trial. Alcoa, and Bank of America were the other big decliners on the Dow.

Gainers included  Home Depot,  Caterpillar and Verizon, which just announced plans to sell Apple's iPhone early next month.

Bonds edge up after weak jobs data 
Treasury prices edged higher Thursday after disappointing numbers on the job front and the third of three scheduled debt auctions for the week. Meanwhile, eurozone debt worries got a bit of relief.

Before the opening bell, the government reported that the number of Americans filing for their first week of unemployment benefits jumped sharply last week, two weeks after hitting a 2-1/2 year low below 400,000.

There were 445,000 initial jobless claims filed in the most recent week, which was much higher than expected.

Meanwhile, continuing claims - a measure of Americans who have been receiving benefits for a week or more - fell to 3.8 million.

There was also a report out showing wholesale inflation rose slightly more than expected and another showing the U.S. trade balance was nearly unchanged. 

- reporters Catherine Clifford and Laurie Segall contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Business • Economy • Finance • Jobs • Uncategorized
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Nationwide Bow Thrusters

    Check out Nationwidebowthrustersdotcom

    January 13, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Cesar

    Solution: Hold on to investments and concentrate on long term planning.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Thehype

    germany looks good... N.r.a. Shakes the economy. Predictable. More drama anyone? More bevis and buttheads harming teachers or sports dating? How about one single week without deranged american youth dramas?

    January 13, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Thehype

    Baby boy bradley.. Fox flooded rupurt claims of end times.. See bloomberg economy news.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  5. chrissy

    so today woulda been the perfect day for everyone to take all their money outta the banks and close their accts. time to let em no we are tired of their greedy ways and they need to pay back our money they got free in the bailout.

    January 14, 2011 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
  6. too good2Btrue


    January 14, 2011 at 1:19 am | Report abuse |
  7. chrissy

    hmmm not sure anyone should be investing on anything made from oranges given the weather in the south.

    January 14, 2011 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
  8. raven mad

    Unless they get those baboons from Africa give the oranges the thumbs-up!

    January 14, 2011 at 4:05 am | Report abuse |
  9. raven mad

    Unless they get those baboons from Africa ta give tha oranges the thumbs-up!

    January 14, 2011 at 4:07 am | Report abuse |
  10. Wise sasquatch

    My long term plan is to hang on to this 8 dollar an hour job that i've got after 2 yaers unemployed

    January 14, 2011 at 4:19 am | Report abuse |
  11. Sees All Evil

    Merck stocks drop but how can this be? With the costs of prescription drugs at an all time high i would think investing in drug company stocks would be the way to get rich. Oh yeah thats right without a healthcare plan for our citizens who can't afford the outrageous prescription prices. Once again the GOP is stifleing our economic growth by repealing the healthcare plan Mr Obama worked so hard to get passed. Thanks to those of little faith that couldnt wait for things to turn around. There should at least be a cap on exhorbetant prices on prescription drugs. How do the drug company ceo's sleep at night knowing most of Americas citizens are unable to afford thier products and live in mental and phisical anguish and pain so they can charge outrageous prices for prescription medications? Of course they sleep great, they have thier prescription sleeping pills.

    January 14, 2011 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |