Stocks ended mixed on Friday after a jury ruled Merck & Co. was negligent in the death of a man who took its painkiller Vioxx.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 4.30, or 0.04 percent, to close at 10,559.23. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 0.69, or 0.1 percent, to 1,219.71. The Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 0.52, or 0.02 percent, to 2,135.56.
Gains from investor bargain-hunting were quickly erased late Friday after a Texas court found Merck liable for the death of a man who took Vioxx, and awarded his estate more than $250 million in damages.
And oil prices surged on news of demonstrations in Ecuador that raised concerns about supply disruptions. Crude for September delivery rose $2.08 to settle at $65.35 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Among local movers, shares of International Rectifier Corp. rose 3.6 percent to $45.91 after the stock rating of the El Segundo-based maker of chips to power electronic gear was raised to "buy" from "neutral" by analyst Thomas A. Thornhill III at UBS. The 12-month price target was set at $54.50 per share.
FirstFed Financial Corp. rose 2.1 percent to $59.68 after the Santa Monica based holding company for First Federal Bank of California released its monthly report of operations late Thursday. The number of loans originated and sold rose for the seven months ended July 31 from the year-ago period.
And shares of Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. lost 0.4 percent to $57.20 after the Pasadena-based engineering services company's stock rating was rated "sell" in new coverage by analyst Ivan Feinseth at Matrix USA.
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