Chevron Wins Right to Explore for Shale Gas in Lithuania and 2 Other Dow Movers to Watch

Chevron Corp. (NYSE:CVX): Current price $120.10

Chevron Corp. has obtained a tender to explore for shale gas in Western Lithuania, according to the government on its Twitter feed on Tuesday. The Baltic country is attempting to free itself from dependence upon gas from Russia.

Chevron was the sole bidder to explore for unconventional hydrocarbons in the 1,800-square-kilometer Silute-Taurage prospect, which Lithuanian experts calculate might hold as much as 80 billion cubic meters of technically recoverable shale gas. In its twitter, the government said that, “It was decided to announce U.S. Chevron as winner of the shale gas exploration tender in Lithuania.”

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JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM): Current price $50.96

A report in the Financial Times indicates that JPMorgan’s JPMorgan Asset Management division will close almost 9 funds from its current range of products in Europe, increasing the total number of fund closures to 25 in 2013. Together with this, the asset manager will close an additional eight unnamed funds during the next two months. JPMorgan is closing the funds to simplify its existing fund range. It currently has the largest number of funds in Asia and also has 250 funds in Europe and 150 in the United States.

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Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK): Current price $47.10

The number-one maker of HIV medicines on the planet, Gilead Sciences Inc., has sued Merck & Co., requesting a court order that the experimental hepatitis C drug sofosbuvir will not infringe patents. Merck, which sold $502 million of its Victrelis hepatitis C drug in 2012, contacted Gilead in August, requesting that it license two patents which Merck says are connected with sofosbuvir, according to Gilead’s attorneys in a complaint filed Friday in federal court in San Francisco.

Merck asked Gilead to pay a 10-percent royalty on the net sales of the medicine until the patents expire, a request “meant to threaten Gilead” just before FDA approval of sofosbuvir, said the complaint. For its part, Gilead wants a judge’s declarations that the patents are not enforceable or infringed, averting the need for it to have to license them so as to sell the medicine.

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