Diamonds and Dogs
Merck (MRK) leading the Dow to another new high. Merck is up 7% thanks to drug trails for their blockbuster drug Keytruda and two chemotherapy medicines that helped lung cancer patients live longer while also stopping the disease from advancing. Merck received two upgrades, one from BMO Capital who said Merck has solidified its leadership in first-line lung cancer.
General Electric (GE) coming back to earth. After a 10% jump to start the year, GE is down 4% after taking a $6.2 billion charge in its fourth quarter results for a more than decade-old insurance portfolio covering long-term healthcare costs. GE Capital unit was now expected to make statutory reserve contributions of about $15 billion over seven years. To fund the contributions, GE Capital will be suspending its dividend to the parent company for the "foreseeable future".