Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Boeing Jumps While Merck Holds Down the Dow

Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) is trying to push the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) up, but a fall in pharmaceutical stocks is keeping the Dow Jones flat today. As of 1:25 p.m. EDT the Dow was down 31 points to 16,528. The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) was flat at 1,883 points.

The Dow Jones started the day in the green following a far better April nonfarm payrolls than many had expected. The economy added 288,000 jobs in April, and unemployment dropped to 6.3%. But the Dow sank back to breakeven for the day after tensions flared in Ukraine and pharmaceutical stocks dropped.

BA Chart

BA data by YCharts.

Merck (NYSE: MRK  ) is down 2.3% after the company reported that the Data and Safety Monitoring Board recommended that Merck halt its trials for its ovarian cancer treatment, a joint venture with Endocyte. While this is a disaster for Endocyte, whose shares are currently down 62%, Merck will be fine, given its diversified drug portfolio.

This is certainly a setback, though, as Merck is in the process of focusing its efforts on cancer drugs, cholesterol drugs, diabetes drugs, and vaccines. As part of this effort, Merck is debating either selling off or strengthening its animal health and consumer health divisions. Merck has been asking for $10 billion for its consumer health business, and yesterday a rumor surfaced that Bayer was in talks to buy the business for $14 billion. While Merck's stock is dropping today, it's still near an all-time high. Despite the setback, Merck's plan to refocus itself and replenish its pipeline should allow Merck to continue to crush the Dow for years more.

Today's Dow leader is Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) , up 1.5%. Boeing today announced that it delivered its 75th 747 to Lufthansa today. Lufthansa has been buying 747s from Boeing since 1970. The Boeing 747 is now on its fifth version, the 747-800. This shows the staying power jetliners have and the reason analysts are so excited about Boeing's new plane, the 787 Dreamliner.

The 787 Dreamliner was first delivered three years ago and promises significant operational savings to airlines, as it weighs less and uses less fuel than the 747. As the worldwide economy strengthens, you can expect that people will travel more and airlines will have more cash to invest in new planes, which should mean increased orders for Boeing. Some analysts see value in the shares, including Alliance Bernstein, which reaffirmed its "outperform" rating today, as well as its price target of $167.

Top dividend stocks for the next decade
The smartest investors know that dividend stocks simply crush their non-dividend-paying counterparts over the long term. That's beyond dispute. They also know that a well-constructed dividend portfolio creates wealth steadily, while still allowing you to sleep like a baby. Knowing how valuable such a portfolio might be, our top analysts put together a report on a group of high-yielding stocks that should be in any income investor's portfolio. To see our free report on these stocks, just click here now.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2941488, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/2/2015 2:53:28 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Dan Dzombak

Dan Dzombak has written for The Motley Fool since 2008. He covers value investing, investing process, and success among other things. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter by clicking the buttons below or head over to his blog at

Today's Market

updated 5 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,058.35 -469.68 -2.84%
S&P 500 1,913.85 -58.33 -2.96%
NASD 4,636.11 -140.40 -2.94%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/1/2015 4:35 PM
^DJI $16058.35 Down -469.68 -2.84%
^GSPC $1913.85 Down -58.33 -2.96%
S&P 500 INDEX CAPS Rating: No stars
BA $127.44 Down -3.24 -2.48%
The Boeing Company CAPS Rating: ****
MRK $52.53 Down -1.32 -2.45%
Merck & Co., Inc. CAPS Rating: ****