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How a Merck cancer breakthrough caused Bristol-Myers’ stock to plunge

Rival drugmakers Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Merck & Co., which are both developing a treatment for the same type of lung cancer, have been playing a game of stock market seesaw.

Never was that more true than Monday, when Merck’s MRK, +1.80% positive clinical trial data lifted it a mere 1.6%, while Bristol’s BMY, -10.14% bad news — made worse in contrast with Merck’s — sent it shuddering down 10.6%.

Merck announced two positive clinical trial results on Sunday, both for its Keytruda treatment on metastatic non-small cell lung cancer, and published the results in respected journals on Monday.

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