It appears the stock market is headed for its fifth straight negative day as the markets opened lower on continued global concerns.
Any optimistic sentiments from Europe's recent summit and bailouts have passed, as Germany still is not committed to measures in the agreements.
After Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced surprisingly harsher austerity plans for Spain, there were riots in Madrid where more than 70 people were injured.
The stock market wasn't quite as violent, but after the U.S. Federal Reserve's minutes revealed no signs of QE3, the markets took a hit before finishing the day slightly higher. Today the market is still reeling as all three major indexes opened well in the red.
Even news of the lowest number of initial unemployment claims filed since March of 2008 could not lift the market. The Labor Department announced that initial claims seasonally adjusted came in at 350,000, down 26,000 from the previous week. Analysts had expected on average between 355,000 to 395,000 claims to be filed.
Those numbers may not be reliable, as many economists say the claims are lower due to automakers choosing to keep their plants open throughout the summer.
Typically many auto plants close for two weeks in the summer and lay off workers temporarily as the plants are prepped for new models. With higher demand this year many plants have remained open through July.
"It seems like the Labor Department is pretty adamant that this is more of a wonky seasonal adjustment than something we need to put too much stock in," Michael Hanson, U.S. economist at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch told Reuters. "The underlying trend in claims is probably still in the 370,000 range."
Those numbers are also low due to the fact that they are gathered from the holiday-shortened 4th of July week.
Even with the markets' slide today, there are still winners to be found. Here are five of the best performing stocks today:
Merck and Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) announced it received favorable results for its latest experimental osteoporosis drug, odancatib, and ended trials early because it worked so well. The drug is supposed to prevent bone fractures in women with osteoporosis and has been in testing since 2007.
Merck stock is up almost 4.5% as of noon.