On balance, though, the declines were small. The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 46 points less than 0.3 percent, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) each lost around 0.1 percent -- 2 points and 3 points, respectively.
Merck (MRK) was one of the big losers among the blue chips, down 2½ percent after stopping a clinical trial of a drug to treat ovarian cancer because it failed to live up to expectations.
Merck's partner in the research, Endocyte (ECYT), got clobbered. It lost 62 percent of its value on the news.
Staying with pharmaceuticals, Pfizer (PFE) lost more than 1 percent on word that Its sweetened, $106 billion offer for AstraZeneca (AZN) had been rejected. The British drug maker said the bid "substantially" undervalues the company.
Biotechs also had rough day. Gilead (GILD) and Regeneron (REGN) both lost about 2 percent, and Pharmacyclics (PCYC) dropped 7½ percent.
As for earnings, Wynn Resorts (WYNN) was a big winner. The stock gained 7 percent today and it's now up more than 60 percent over the past year. The company posted strong revenue from its casino operations in Macau.
Carpet maker Mohawk Industries (MHK) gained 6 percent as net topped expectations.
And Nutrisystems (NTRI) rose 8 percent, and the stock has nearly doubled in price from a year ago despite some weakness lately. It's been a good week for weight loss companies. Weight Watchers (WTW) surged on strong earnings Thursday.
On the downside:
- Chevron (CVX), the nation's second largest oil company, edged lower as earnings and production fell.
- LinkedIn (LNKD) slid 8 percent. It swung to a loss in the latest quarter from a profit a year ago.
- Expedia (EXPE) dropped 3½ percent despite beating expectations and reporting a big jump in bookings.
- Kraft Foods (KRFT) fell 1 percent.
- And Madison Square Garden (MSG) lost 6½ percent.
What to Watch Monday:
- The Institute for Supply Management releases its service sector index for April at 10 a.m. Eastern time.
- American International Group (AIG)
- Anadarko Petroleum (APC)
- Orbitz Worldwide (OWW)
- Pfizer (PFE)
- Sysco (SYY)
- Tenet Healthcare (THC)
- Tyson Foods (TSN)