Worth Watching Stocks Alert: Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX), Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

On Friday, Shares of Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX), added 1.29% and closed at $54.14 in the last trading session. The last trading range of the stock ranges between $53.56 and $54.38. Starbucks (SBUX) recently opened its first store in Englewood in the South Side of Chicago at 63rd and Halsted. The store is part of Starbucks nationwide program to support local economic development in at least 15 diverse, low- to- medium-income communities by 2018. Three such locations have already opened in Ferguson, Phoenix and the Jamaica neighborhood of Queens, NY. Similar to those stores, the new location in Englewood will support efforts to revitalize the community by creating meaningful local jobs, providing an exclusive in-store job skills training program for youth, and investing in local minority-owned contractors and suppliers. Starbucks also declared plans to expand the national program to five new communities in 2017, counting neighborhoods in the Baltimore, Birmingham, Long Beach, CA, Miami, and Seattle areas.

“While communities like Englewood have been plagued by crime, poverty, and a severe lack of opportunity, there is in fact a long-term movement underway to revitalize these neighborhoods and return the story to one of hope, resilience and progress,” said Rodney Hines, director for community investments for Starbucks U.S. Retail Operations. “Our aim with this program is to show that when the private and public sectors come together to drive meaningful investment, we can create new jobs and economic opportunities that have the potential to reverberate for generations to come. Opening in Englewood is not just an opportunity to grow our business, but to be part of a local solution for social change.”

For Starbucks, the new store in Englewood and others like it form a key part of the company’s long-term commitment to connect opportunity youth – 16-24 year olds who are out of work and school – to jobs. Nationally, 1 in 7 young people are disconnected from the economy, a challenge that is exponentially worse in low-income communities, particularly among people of color. In Englewood, where an estimated 72% of people ages 20-24 are unemployed1, Starbucks plans to work with local community groups and civic leaders to provide a pathway to opportunity for its local partners (employees) through training and development, career options, and industry-leading benefits that include the opportunity to get an online, tuition-free bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University through the Starbucks College Achievement Plan.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK), jumped 0.81% and closed at $62.41 in the last trading session. The last trading range of the stock ranges between $61.86 and $62.73. The company’s Market capitalization is $173.97 Billion with the total Outstanding Shares of 2.73 Billion. Merck (MRK), known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, recently declared that new data from the company’s chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) clinical development programs will be presented at The Liver Meeting® 2016. Fifteen scientific abstracts, counting seven oral and eight poster presentations, will highlight findings from Merck’s HCV clinical development programs. The data include evaluations of ZEPATIER™ (elbasvir and grazoprevir) 50mg/100mg tablets and the company’s investigational MK-3682B (MK-36821/grazoprevir2/rusazvir) in a broad range of patients with chronic HCV infection. The Liver Meeting® 2016 will take place in Boston, MA, from November 11-15, 2016.

“Merck has been a part of the fight against chronic hepatitis C infection for more than 30 years, and that fight continues. Chronic hepatitis C is a complex infectious disease that affects tens of millions of patients globally, each with their own personal circumstances, co-morbidities and challenges,” said Dr. Eliav Barr, senior vice president, global clinical development, infectious diseases and vaccines, Merck Research Laboratories. “At AASLD this year, researchers will share data from numerous studies that are underway to better understand the potential of ZEPATIER and our investigational medicines in diverse patient populations.”

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