Thankfully, the financial markets are never boring. Here's a closer look at some of the news that made bulls and bears feel at home in the investing zoo.

Merck rhymes with jerk
Arthritis sufferers are coping with a new kind of pain now that pharmaceuticals giant Merck (NYSE:MRK) is pulling Vioxx from the market. After a clinical study showed that the drug can have some nasty cardiovascular side effects like heart attacks and strokes in some long-term users, Merck is voluntarily withdrawing the drug from the market.

Shareholders could use something new to numb the pain as the stock fell 30% on the news, even though Vioxx accounted for just 11% of the company's sales so far this year. Why? Well, let's just say that more than a few ambulance-chasing attorneys are probably having new business cards made to read Vioxx Lawyer. Couple the potential litigation liabilities with the fact that Merck's pipeline is running dry relative to its more successful rivals like Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), and it's easy to see why the market isn't prescribing Merck these days.

Yoda says, "buy this now, you will"
With Obi Wan's sage "use the sales force, Luke" encouragement, folks took to the stores to buy the original Star Wars trilogy in its DVD debut to the tune of 3 million units sold in its first five days. That's great news for Fox (NYSE:FOX), the set's distributor. Why is a trilogy being put out in a 4-disc set? Why did George Lucas film the middle episodes first? I don't know. Who do I look like, Yoda?

Even Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), the discount department store titan that some mom-and-pop retailers may equate with the Empire's Death Star, attributed a spike in its chain's sales to the DVD set. That's saying something because Wal-Mart rang up $256 billion in sales last year.

Wheat check -- aisle five
If a nervous leprechaun hauling a colorful cereal bowl comes running up to you -- and you would be surprised how often this has happened to me lately -- babbling incoherently about wild kids who are "always after me Lucky Charms" you may want to think twice before aiding and abetting the folkloric Irish fugitive. Now that General Mills (NYSE:GIS) has tweaked its offerings to make sure that all of its cereals are made with whole grain, maybe the mob of spoon-yielding young 'uns actually know what's good for them.

Life is more than a box of sugar-coated marshmallows in the cereal industry, as companies like General Mills and Kellogg (NASDAQ:K) are brutal competitors. That's why every attempt to gain an advantage that doesn't involve flooding the market with costly coupons -- like this savvy, health-conscious move by General Mills -- is a welcome sight for investors.

Bush? Kerry? That's debatable
One of the advantages of living a block away from the University of Miami campus is that I was invited to a debate-watching party on Thursday. While I didn't get into the actual presidential showdown, I was able to rub shoulders with others on the outside like Ralph Nader, wrestler Mick Foley, and MSNBC's Chris Matthews. While Fool.com isn't a political haven -- we're more interested in finding great Rule Breaker stocks than breaking down the political engine -- we did have our own spirited debate this past week.

With two more debates on the way, moving away from Thursday night's emphasis on foreign policy and toward economic conditions back home, investors may want to tune in to see which way they will ultimately lean come November.

See you next week!

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz will trade you some green clovers for blue moon marshmallows. He doesn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.