J&J stock gains after Moody’s says $2.5 billion payment for talc claims doesn’t affect Aaa rating

Shares of Johnson & Johnson rose 0.4% in morning trading, in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s denial of the request to review a Missouri court verdict regarding various talc cases against the consumer products and drug maker. As a result of the Supreme Court decision, J&J disclosed in an 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission late Tuesday that it will make a $2.5 billion payment, including interest, in June. Moody’s Investors Service said Wednesday that the payment will have “no impact” on J&J’s Aaa rating, the credit rating agency’s highest rating, at this time. The rating outlook remains negative. In comparison, Pfizer Inc.’s and Eli Lilly & Co.’s credit ratings at Moody’s are both A2, or five notches lower than J&J’s rating. J&J’s stock has gained 12.1% over the past 12 months, while the SPDR Health Care Select Sector ETF has rallied 18.5% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has climbed 34.6%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.