Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Buzz Stocks: Google Inc, Merck & Co., Inc., Pfizer Inc., and News Corp

Today's stocks to watch in the news include GOOGL, MRK, PFE, and NWSA

by 5/2/2014 9:19 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Despite the release of the latest nonfarm payrolls report -- which showed the U.S. created 288,000 jobs in April, surpassing economists' estimates -- the stock market continues to churn around breakeven ahead of the opening bell. In company news, here are some stocks to watch today:

  • Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is facing a class-action lawsuit from the law firm Hagens Berman, which alleges that the Internet giant has "illegally monopolized" the Web as well as the U.S. mobile search market. "It's clear that Google has not achieved this monopoly through offering a better search engine, but through its strategic, anti-competitive placement, and it doesn't take a forensic economist to see that this is evidence of market manipulation," consumer rights attorney Steve Berman said. (FOX Business)

  • According to an inside source, Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) is on the verge of selling its consumer business to Bayer for roughly $14 billion in cash and asset swaps. The acquisition will give Bayer the rights to products such as Claritin allergy medicine, Coppertone sunblock, and footcare offerings from Dr. Scholl's. (The New York Times)

  • Earlier this morning, Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) upped its bid for AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) to $106 billion, but it was promptly rejected. According to AZN's board, the proposal "substantially undervalues" the U.K.-based pharmaceutical company -- leading at least one analyst to speculate that PFE may now attempt to circumvent the board with a hostile takeover bid. (Reuters)

  • News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) will buy romance novel specialist Harlequin Enterprises from Canada-based publisher Torstar Corp. for $415 million. Harlequin, which releases more than 110 books per month, will be incorporated into the Avon Romance division of NWSA's HarperCollins publishing unit. (Bloomberg)

  • Also, CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE:CVS) , Expedia Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE) , Kraft Foods Group Inc (NASDAQ:KRFT) , and LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) reported quarterly earnings. (MarketWatch; FOX Business; USA Today)

  • Finally, a CNNMoney analysis revealed that Subway is the most frequent wage violator in the fast food industry. From 2000 through 2013, more than 1,100 investigations were opened on individual Subway franchisees, resulting in about $3.8 million in back payments. (CNNMoney)

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