After the closing bell, InterMune (ITMN) shares collapsed over 80% after the FDA decided not to approve a drug used to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, though regulators requested another clinical trial.
During the regular session, Alcoa (AA), Caterpillar (CAT) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) were the Dow's biggest laggards.
But better-than-expected earnings from Pfizer (PFE) and Merck (MRK) were helping lift those shares higher, joining Wal-Mart (WMT) as the only Dow performers trading in positive territory.
The Dow was seeing volume of 242 million shares, compared with an average of 200 million.
surpassed analysts' expectations with adjusted first-quarter earnings of 60 cents a share. Although the company reaffirmed its guidance for year-end adjusted earnings of $2.10 to $2.20 a share, it lowered its 2012 outlook on account of the recently enacted health care legislation. Pfizer's stock gained 2.1% to $17.26.
beat estimates with an adjusted first-quarter profit of 83 cents a share on sales of $11.42 billion. Merck shares climbed 1.5%, to $35.81.
Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)
reported a third-quarter profit of 65 cents a share and sales that rose 2% to $15.14 billion, which was below the $15.65 billion in sales that analysts had projected. The stock lost 5.4%, to $26.22.
swung to a first-quarter profit of 2.2 billion Swiss francs ($2.02 billion), topping expectations. The stock fell off 5.5%, to $14.78.
CVS Caremark (CVS)
beat Wall Street expectations by 2 cents but fell short of the $24.12 billion in sales that analysts had projected with first-quarter revenue of $23.76 billion. CVS shares shed 1.6%, to $36.48.
Shares of MasterCard (MA)
improved 0.2% following better-than-expected first-quarter results
with a profit of $3.46 a share on sales of $1.31 billion.
Sirius XM (SIRI)
posted adjusted earnings of a penny a share, compared with the break-even quarter that analysts had been expecting. Sales rose to $670.6 million but missed expectations for revenue of $671.3 million. Sirius shares traded 4.1% lower at $1.18.
Shares of financial data provider Interactive Data (IDC)
gained 0.5% on news that it agreed to be acquired by private-equity groups Silver Lake and Warburg Pincus in a deal valued at $3.4 billion.
said air-bag problems forced the car manufacturer to recall almost 135,000 of its Infiniti G35 models, according to an Associated Press
American depositary shares of BP (BP)
traded in positive territory today after getting pummeled for the past few sessions. The company has come under increasing scrutiny after a rig it leased exploded, setting off a chain of events resulting in an ever-expanding oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
BP gained 2% today.