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Merck & Co. says its first-quarter profit more than tripled despite only slightly higher sales because of much lower restructuring and merger costs. The results beat Wall Street expectations. Merck's stock rose 61 cents in premarket trading to $36.38. Good news for the markets this morning.
Americans saw their incomes rise in March and this spurred higher spending. But much of the extra money went to pay for more costly gasoline. The cost of gasoline has put a damper on this news.
Strong quarterly results from Caterpillar and Merck on Friday looked set to drive the Dow to its best month since December, with a bullish stock on course to buck a seasonally weak May. It will be interesting to see what May brings considering it is weak. Even the technical charts are showing that the strength of the move this last week did not appear to be that strong.
Oil prices climbed back to near $113 a barrel Friday as a weaker dollar made crude more attractive to investors with other currencies and the conflicts in Libya and Syria raised risk premiums. Okay that’s enough, you can stop now!