Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK): The Lonesome Dow Loser

Thanks to positive earnings from all corners of the markets and a mediocre jobs report, the markets are off and running again today. As of 12:40 p.m. EST the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 135 points, or 0.98%, to 13,995 — just 168 points from its all-time high. Only one of its components is in the red today, while ExxonMobil has stayed near breakeven. The S&P 500 is up almost 1%, while the NASDAQ is up 1.2%.

The jobs report indicated that the U.S. economy added 157,000 new positions in January. While 311,000 new jobs were added in the same month last year and 196,000 positions were filled in December, economist are still predicting that job growth in 2013 will equal that of 2012, and it is expected that the unemployment rate will fall to 7.5% by the end of the year.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)So who’s down and why?
Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) are getting hammered today. The stock is down 3% after the company announced fourth-quarter earnings this morning, revealing that fourth-quarter profit fell 7%. While the company beat estimates, increased competition from generic-drug makers and the company’s decision to delay FDA approval for an osteoporosis medication until 2014 have investors fleeing the stock. Year to date, however, the stock price is still up 2.4%.

While The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) is up 1.3% today, it is the only Dow component that is down year to date in 2013. The company has had some issues with its revolutionary 787 Dreamliner jet, which has been grounded by the Federal Aviation Administration. The plane’s lithium-ion battery system, which is intended to assist in reducing fuel costs, has already caught fire on one plane and caused another flight to make an emergency landing. At this time, investigators do not know what is causing the problems, but Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk believes the way Boeing is using the battery is “inherently unsafe”.

The article The Lonesome Dow Loser originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Matt Thalman.

Fool contributor Matt Thalman has no position in any stocks mentioned. Follow Matt on Twitter @mthalman5513. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

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