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UPJOHN, MERCK, SYNTEX LEAD PHARMACEUTICALS, COMPOSITE TO 1985 HIGHS

Executive Summary

An extremely strong Pharmaceutical Component paced by Upjohn (up 4-5/8 to 133-3/8), Merck (up 3-5/8 to 125-7/8) and Syntex (up 3-1/8 to 76) helped left the "F-D-C" Composite Index 1.9% to new heights for the week ended Nov. 22. The overall performance of drug company issues reflected the generally bullish outlook on the "Street" during a week in which the Dow Jones average posted a 29-point gain and reached a record high, 1464.33, up 2.1%. Pharmaceuticals established a yearly high for the fourth consecutive week, with advancing issues outnumbering declines almost seven to one. Alza (up 2-3/8 to 31-1/4) moved on the news that the company plans to purchase and retire up to 50% of 2.9 mil. shares of nonvoting common stock now owned by Ciba-Geigy. Alza said it plans to use the proceeds from a 3 mil. share public offering of new common stock to fund the repurchase. SmithKline (up 2-1/2 to 74-1/8) showed renewed vigor the last two weeks, and surpassed the highwater mark it reached in mid-July. Drug issues that have participated in the strong market rally over the last four weeks include Lilly, up almost eight points since mid-October to 99-1/4; Merck, which is up over 10 points; and Marion, up eight to 44-1/4. Diversified stocks established a 1985 high for the third straight week. Among the major point-plus gainers were Bristol-Myers (up 2-1/8 to 63-1/2), Sterling (up 4-1/8 to 39-1/8) and Thompson Medical (up 2-5/8 to 14-3/4). Wholesaler stocks were mixed McKesson (up 1-3/8 to 51-5/8) and Foxmeyer (up 1-3/8 to 25-1/4) advancing, while Bergen Brunswig fell 7/8 to 29-3/8. Among the Chains, retreating issues outnumbered gainers four to three with Longs (up 2-1/8 to 29-5/8) the only stock moving more than a point. Eckerd, Fay's and Perry all showed no change for the week. Chart omitted.
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