Pfizer’s massive deal to buy Wyeth helped investors shrug off the bloodbath at Caterpillar, Home Depot and Sprint-Nextel this morning, sending indexes slightly higher at the open. The Dow rose 55 points, while the S&P and Nasdaq rose 11 and 18 points respectively. Caterpillar fell 10% pre-market after announcing an 18% cut in its workforce, which adds up to 20,000 jobs. Meanwhile, Home Depot slashed 7,000 and Sprint-Nextel 8,0000.
Pfizer posted a 90% earnings drop, but the big news was its $68 billion acquisition of rival Wyeth. Pfizer shares fell 4% pre-market, while Wyeth rose 5%. Crucell meanwhile sank 12%, as Wyeth called off talks to buy the Dutch pharmaceutical.