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Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Mixed; Merck Profit Beats Estimates

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Following the market opening Monday, the Dow traded down 0.09 percent to 15,555.79 while the NASDAQ declined 0.04 percent to 3,941.74. The S&P rose, gaining 0.04 percent to 1,760.49.

Top Headline
Merck & Co (NYSE: MRK) reported an upbeat third-quarter profit.

Merck's quarterly profit declined to $1.12 billion, or $0.38 per share, down from $1.73 billion, or $0.56 per share, in the year-earlier quarter. Its adjusted earnings fell to $0.92 per share from $0.95 per share.

Its sales dropped to $11.03 billion from $11.49 billion. However, analysts were estimating earnings of $0.87 per share on revenue of $11.1 billion. Merck now expects 2013 adjusted earnings of $3.48 to $3.52 per share, versus its earlier forecast of $3.45 to $3.55 per share.

Equities Trading UP
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY) shot up 4.65 percent to $51.04 after the company presented efficacy and safety data from Phase IIb dose-ranging study of subcutaneous clazakizumab. Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock from Equal-Weight to Overweight and lifted the target price from $45 to $60.

Shares of Burger King Worldwide (NYSE: BKW) got a boost, shooting up 5.49 percent to $20.84 after the company reported a rise in its third-quarter profit.

Clovis Oncology (NASDAQ: CLVS) was also up, gaining 10.21 percent to $62.74 after the company's CO-1686 demonstrated promising clinical activity and safety in Phase I study.

Equities Trading DOWN
Shares of Sohu.com (NASDAQ: SOHU) were down 12.37 percent to $71.35 after the company reported a 20 percent drop in its quarterly profit.

Changyou.com (NASDAQ: CYOU) shares tumbled 16.86 percent to $29.69 after the company reported Q3 unaudited financial results. Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE: EW) was down, falling 4.76 percent to $73.39 on Q3 results.

Commodities
In commodity news, oil traded down 0.32 percent to $97.54, while gold traded up 0.04 percent to $1,353.10. Silver traded down 0.24 percent Monday to $22.59, while copper fell 0.08 percent to $3.27.

Euro zone
European shares were lower today. The Spanish Ibex Index fell 1.03 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index tumbled 0.66 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX dropped 0.19 percent and the French CAC 40 fell 0.75 percent while U.K. shares declined 0.16 percent.

Economics
US industrial production increased 0.6 percent in September, versus economists' expectations for a 0.4 percent growth. Capacity utilization climbed to 78.3 percent versus 77.9 percent.

The pending home sales index declined 5.60 percent in September. The Treasury is set to auction 3-month bills, 6-month bills and 2-year notes.

Posted-In: Earnings News Guidance Eurozone Futures Forex Global Econ #s Best of Benzinga

 

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