AT&T Seeks Approval for Trust Contribution and 3 Dow Movers Buzzing on The Street

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK): The medical product Isentress received a positive opinion from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use, or CHMP, which recommends a variation to its terms of the marketing authorization for the product. Merck Sharp & Dohme holds the marketing authorization holder for Isentress, and may request a reexamination of the CHMP opinion, assuming that they notify the European Medicines Agency in writing of their intention within 15 days of receipt of the opinion. The extension adopted by the Committee is to add two new strengths and a new pharmaceutical form, 25 mg and 100 mg chewable tablets, to the existing array of products. Further, the Committee adopted the following change to an indication: “Isentress is indicated in combination with other anti-retroviral medicinal products for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus infection in adults, adolescents, and children from the age of 2 years.”

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) on Thursday said that sales from its Windows unit plummeted 33 percent in the most recent quarter, but all was not grim as pre-sales of Windows 8 were nearly $800 million, which was 40 percent higher than comparable pre-sales for the successful Windows 7 operating system. The company’s overall revenues for its fiscal first quarter that ended September 30th were $16.01 billion, which was down 7.8 percent year-over-year and missed consensus of $16.42 billion. Net income stood at $4.47 billion, as earnings per share slid by 7.9 percent year-over-year to 63 cents. An earnings per share of 68 cents had been forecast by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

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AT&T (NYSE:T, which is the biggest phone company in the United States, reported on Friday that it is seeking government approval to contribute an investment in its wireless division worth $9.5 billion to the trust which pays pension benefits for its 360,000 retirees. The pension plan had been underfunded by approximately $10.2 billion at the end of 2011. If the Department of Labor approves the transfer, most of that liability would be removed as the company switches equity from shareholders to the fund.

The Travelers Companies (NYSE:TRV): The chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has been sent a letter from financial officials in the United Kingdom, France and Japan in opposition to proposed rules which would force overseas swaps dealers to register with the Commission in order to trade with any American institution or its overseas affiliates, says The Financial Times. Regulators in Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and Japan had previously made clear their worries over being faced with two sets of overlapping and conflicting regulations in the United States and in their home countries.

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