Noon RISERS: Exxon Mobil Bounces, GE’s Dividend Honors, Merck Very Healthy

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM) shares gained .56% percent as of Friday at noon. The oil giant headed higher as crude oil prices rebounded 1 percent after falling 4 percent on Thursday. “It has been a long fall, driven by global economic slowdown and oil fundamentals such as weaker demand from China,” said Tony Machacek, oil futures broker at Jefferies Bache. “Technical indicators show the market is a little bit oversold, so there could be some short-covering around.”

General Electric Co. (NYSE:GE) shares climbed almost 1 percent higher at mid-day trading. The company has been named a Top 25 “Dividend Giant” by ETF Channel, with almost $8 billion worth of stock held by ETFs, according to Forbes. Shares currently yield a dividend just north of 3.4 percent.

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Despite receiving a downgrade from Moody’s (NYSE:MCO), shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) jumped almost 2 percent after the opening bell and has since settled at being up 1% as of mid-day trading. The ratings agency downgraded the bank by two-notches, better than a possible third-notch downgrade that was on the table. Morgan Stanley responded, “We believe the ratings still do not fully reflect the key strategic actions we have taken in recent years.”

Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE:MRK) shares climbed 1.70 percent higher at noon trading. The pharmaceutical company hit as high as $40.28 today, representing its highest level in more than two years.

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) shares continue to rally. As of Friday at noon, the social-media firm jumped almost 3 percent. Nomura Securities recently initiated coverage on the social-media giant with a Buy rating and a $40 price target. Analyst, Brian Nowak, said, “We believe that Facebook’s industry-leading reach, engaged user base, and comprehensive user dataset will enable the company to continue to grow and take share in the display market.

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