Meanwhile, Merck ( MRK) will build a $297 million facility in Ireland to develop and manufacture vaccines, according to a Reuters report. Its shares were trading up $1.69, or 2.9%, at $59.27. Elsewhere, BMO Capital downgraded Axcan Pharma ( AXCA) to underperform from market perform based on upcoming generic-drug competition. Shares edged down 55 cents, or 3.1%, to $17.37. In other health stocks, Tenet Healthcare ( THC) and UnitedHealthcare, a business of UnitedHealth Group ( UNH) announced a two-year agreement in which UnitedHealthcare members will have access to all acute care hospitals in Tenet's portfolio. The companies didn't disclose financial terms. Tenet's shares rose 42 cents, or 10.5%, to $4.42, while UnitedHealth Group added $1, or 1.9%, to $54.38.
Stocks soar as the gross domestic product rises at an annualized rate of 3.5% in the third quarter and continuing jobless claims fall. Gregg Greenberg recaps the action in The Real Story video (above).