NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Mar 29, 2013) - On the last trading day of the quarter the Standard & Poor's 500 Index surpassed its record closing high set in October 2007, before the financial crisis hit. The S&P 500 Index has gained nearly 10 percent so far in 2013. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the S&P 500 Index and provides equity research on Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK) and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE).
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On Thursday the S&P 500 Index surpassed its previous high of 1565.15. Surpassing the S&P 500's record closing level was a significant milestone for Wall Street as it marked a recovery from the financial crisis, which shed over $10 trillion in value from the world's biggest benchmark. The S&P 500's four-year rally has seen it rise over 130 percent from its 12-year low.
"Getting back to where we were is an important step," said Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst for S&P Dow Jones Indices. "Markets are volatile, and if you are a long-term investor you should expect declines," Silverblatt commented in a note to investors.
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Merck & Co. currently offers investors an annual dividend of $1.72 a share for a dividend yield of approximately 3.90 percent. The company reported worldwide sales of $47.3 billion for the full year 2012, a year-over-year decrease of 2 percent. Shares of Merck & Co. have gained roughly 8 percent year-to-date.
Pfizer currently offers investors an annual dividend of $0.96 per share for a dividend yield of approximately 3.35 percent. The company reported revenues of $23.1 billion for the full year 2012, a decrease of 14 percent when compared to the full year 2011. Shares of Pfizer have gained roughly 15 percent year-to-date.
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