Pfizer's animal health business Zoetis has raised about $2.2 billion in its initial public offering of 86.1 million shares, and the stock is expected to begin trading Friday. Merck & Co.'s fourth-quarter profit fell 7 percent as generic competition slashed sales of its blockbuster allergy drug Singulair.
Pharmaceutical giant Merck announced mixed third-quarter results Friday, but lifted the lower end of its 2010 earnings guidance. Net income for the third quarter was $342 million, or 11 cents per share, as earnings were impacted by a large charge.
Some robust blue-chip earnings and an improvement in consumer sentiment helped stocks shrug off a disappointing reading on economic growth to end mixed Friday -- but the market still enjoyed its biggest monthly gain in a year.