February 2008 Archives

Closing Bell Report

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The markets plummeted to close sharply lower over stagnant growth and disappointing earnings.  The Dow skidded 316 points to 12,266 while Nasdaq plunged 60 points to 2271.

On the upside

An increased subscriber base lifted fourth quarter earnings for China Finance Online (Nasdaq: JRJC) prompting the online financial data company to raise its 2008 outlook.

Sapient (Nasdaq: SAPE) swung to a profit for the fourth quarter to beat estimates while forecasting 2008 results above expectations.

Higher sales boosted fourth quarter earnings for FTI Consulting (NYSE: FCN) to beat expectations.

On the downside

Akamai Technologies (Nasdaq: AKAM) announced that a jury awarded the company $45.5 million in damages in a patent infringement cast against Limelight (Nasdaq: LLNW).

While China Medical Technologies (Nasdaq: CMED) reported higher third quarter earnings, revenue fell short of estimates.

Analysts downgraded MF Global (NYSE: MF) after the company disclosed a loss of $142 million through unauthorized trades.

In the broad market, declining issues overwhelmed advancers by a margin of nearly 7 to 1 on the NYSE and more than 3 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plummeted 20 points to 686.

Mid-Day Report

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Flat consumer spending and disappointing earnings news sent the markets tumbling during the midday with the Dow plummeting 196 points to 12,386.  Nasdaq plunged 38 points to 2294.

On the upside

3Com (Nasdaq: COMS) is in negotiations with prospective buyers Bain Capital Partners and Huawei Technologies for ways to limit Huawei's participation in business related to the federal government.

Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross will invest up to $1 billion in Assured Guaranty (NYSE: AGO).

Increased demand lifted third quarter earnings for Omnivision Technologies (Nasdaq: OVTI) to beat expectations.

On the downside

Sonus Networks (Nasdaq: SONS) released preliminary fourth quarter revenue that missed expectations and forecast disappointing results for 2008.

Although strong sales lifted fourth quarter earnings for Deckers Outdoor (Nasdaq: DECK) to beat estimates, the shoe company provided first quarter guidance below expectations.

Fremont General (NYSE: FMT) is considering strategic alternatives including the possible sale of the company because it may have to record additional write-downs.

In the broad market, declining issues overwhelmed advancers by a margin of 6 to 1 on the NYSE and more than 3 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks tumbled 12 points to 693.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened sharply lower following disappointing corporate earnings news.  The Dow lost nearly 200 points to 12,390 while Nasdaq gave up 30 points to 2300.

On the upside

Business software maker Novell (Nasdaq: NOVL) boosted its outlook for 2008.

Commscope (NYSE: CTV) planned to take a 1st quarter loss to charges related to its acquisition of Andrew Corp.  Shares of maker of products for communications networks rose.

Helix Energy Solutions Group (NYSE: HLX) posted lower profits due to a one-time impairment charge while revenues rose sharply.

On the downside

Insurer AIG (NYSE: AIG) unexpectedly announced a $5.29 billion loss and took a massive charge against credit derivatives.  Analysts promptly downgraded the stock.

Shares of Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) edged lower after the computer maker posted lower profits late yesterday and blamed weak consumer spending for the decline.

Sears Holdings (Nasdaq: SHLD) posted a decline in 4th quarter earnings as the retailer reported anemic sales and inventory issues.

In the broad market, declining issues overwhelmed advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 1 on the NYSE and more than 3 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 8 points to 696.

Closing Bell Report

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Record oil prices sent the markets tumbling to a sharply lower close with the Dow plummeting 112 points to 12,582.  Nasdaq plunged 22 points to 2332.

On the upside

Hospira (NYSE: HSP) reported sharply higher fourth quarter earnings that beat expectations by 6 cents and forecast 2008 results ahead of estimates.

Higher prices boosted third quarter earnings for Del Monte (NYSE: DLM) to surpass estimates prompting the company to lift its full year outlook.

Fluor (NYSE: FLR) reported fourth quarter earnings that more than tripled due to a substantial tax benefit and higher sales.

On the downside

Borland Software (Nasdaq: BORL) blamed a difficult spending environment for widening fourth quarter losses and forecast 2008 revenue below estimates.

MF Global (NYSE: MF) fired trader Evan Dooley after incurring nearly $142 million in losses through unauthorized trades.

Limited Brands (NYSE: LTD) reported lower fourth quarter earnings due to markdowns and slow foot traffic and warned that first quarter results will fall short of estimates.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 7 to 3 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks tumbled 11 points to 706.

Mid-Day Report

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Disappointing growth in the fourth quarter weighed down the markets during the midday with the Dow plummeting 143 points to 12,551.  Nasdaq plunged 27 points to 2327.

On the upside

Second quarter earnings for Dress Barn (Nasdaq: DBRN) plunged due to markdowns but the results beat expectations and the women's apparel retailer affirmed its 2008 guidance.

An increase in subscribers and higher revenue per subscriber helped Leap Wireless International (Nasdaq: LEAP) narrow fourth quarter losses.

Falling natural gas inventories along with cold weather in the Northeast boosted shares of EOG Resources (NYSE: EOG).

On the downside

Origin Argritech (Nasdaq: SEED) blamed a sharp drop in prices for swinging to a loss for 2007.

PharmaNet Development Group (Nasdaq: PDGI) swung to a fourth quarter profit as revenue rose but the drug development services company's 2008 outlook fell short of estimates.

While R. H. Donnelley (NYSE: RHD) narrowed fourth quarter losses, the results missed estimates and the print and online directories distributor forecast disappointing 2008 results.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by 5 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks tumbled 11 points to 705.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened lower as investors mulled over weak economic data and corporate profit woes.  The Dow lost 84 points to 12,609 while Nasdaq dropped 9 points to 2344.

On the upside

Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) posted higher 4th quarter profits to surpass estimates while boosting its outlook for 2008.  The company is a provider of online sales management software.

Ctrip.com (Nasdaq: CTRP) posted profits that doubled.  Analysts raised their opinion on the China-based online travel agent ahead of the summer Olympics in China.

IHOP (NYSE: IHP) predicted an increase in same-store sales at its recently acquired Applebee's restaurant chain.

On the downside

Shares of Thornburg Mortgage (NYSE: TMA) tumbled after the lender to homeowners with minor credit problems reported that the company has been receiving margin calls.

Mylan  (NYSE: MYL) posted a loss due to the cost of an acquisition.  Analysts were also concerned about the drug maker's uncertain sales outlook.

Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) reported a nearly $30 billion loss that beat lowered expectations.  More vexing for investors was the loss of more than 100,000 subscribers in the 4th quarter.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 6 points to 709.

Closing Bell Report

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The markets closed modestly higher after Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke indicated that the central bank was poised to cut rates again to jumpstart the economy.   The Dow added 9 points to 12,694 while Nasdaq gained 9 points to 2354.

On the upside

Acquisitions helped fourth quarter earnings more than double for LKQ (Nasdaq: LKQX) and the used auto parts supplier forecast 2008 earnings above estimates.

While fourth quarter earnings fell for Cogent (Nasdaq: COGT), the results surpassed expectations.

Although Federal Signal (NYSE: FSS) reported lower fourth quarter earnings, the results beat estimates.

On the downside

While EnerNOC (Nasdaq: ENOC) narrowed fourth quarter losses, the loss was greater than expected due to higher expenses.

Nortel Networks (NYSE: NT) widened fourth quarter losses due to restructuring charges and announced that 2,100 jobs will be eliminated in an effort to trim costs.

Office Depot (NYSE: ODP) blamed disappointing sales for a sharp drop in fourth quarter earnings.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 4 on the NYSE and by nearly 10 to 9 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks eased a point to 716.

Mid-Day Report

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Despite falling new home sales and a sharp drop in factory orders, the markets traded higher during the midday as Fed chief Ben Bernanke indicated that the central bank was poised to cut rates again to jumpstart the economy.   The Dow climbed 54 points to 12,739 while Nasdaq gained 15 points to 2360.

On the upside

Higher oil and natural gas prices lifted fourth quarter earnings for Continental Resources (NYSE: CLR).

As part of a plan to improve profits and reduce expenses, Zale (NYSE: ZLC) will close nearly 105 stores and eliminate more than 200 positions.

Lehman Brothers analyst Megan Talbott McGrath initiated coverage of D. R. Horton (NYSE: DHI) with a Buy rating saying that the housing market should improve during the second half of 2008.

On the downside

Carter's (NYSE: CRI) blamed markdowns at the wholesale level for fourth quarter earnings that fell short of estimates and warned that first quarter results will disappoint prompting a downgrade.

Acquisition costs weighed down fourth quarter earnings for URS (NYSE: URS).

Although CV Therapeutics (Nasdaq: CVTX) narrowed fourth quarter losses, the results fell short of estimates.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by more than 9 to 7 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 5 points to 722.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened lower as oil prices edged higher and investors worried about the ongoing turmoil in the credit and mortgage industries.   The Dow lost 37 points to 12,647 while Nasdaq dropped 10 points to 2334.

On the upside

Discount retailer Dollar Tree Stores (Nasdaq: DLTR) boosted its earnings outlook to beat analysts' expectations.

Shares of DreamWorks Animation SKG (NYSE: DWA) rose after the company posted strong results boosted by the performance of "Shrek the Third" late yesterday.

Maxwell Technologies (Nasdaq: MXWL) posted a loss due to a change in the valuaton of a convertible note.  However, the maker of energy storage devices expected stronger sales through the rest of the year.

On the downside

Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) posted a $3.6 billion loss as its shares tumbled to a 12-year low.  Share of rival Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) also lost ground.

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) was slapped with a record $1.35 billion fine by European regulators for charging competitors too much to access its technology to develop compatible products.

Shares of Autodesk (Nasdaq: ADSK) tumbled after the design software maker posted flat 4th quarter results while lowering its outlook.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by 5 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 4 points to 712.

Closing Bell Report

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The markets closed sharply higher even as home prices plunged, consumer confidence dropped and oil prices soared.  The Dow leaped 115 points to 12,685 while Nasdaq climbed 18 points to 2345.

On the upside

Tenet Healthcare (NYSE: THC) narrowed fourth quarter losses as patient admissions rose for the first time in nearly four years.

Prana Biotechnology (Nasdaq: PRAN) reported positive results from a Phase IIa clinical trial of its Alzheimer's treatment PBT2.

A sharp drop in home prices during the fourth quarter of 2007 sparked speculation that home buyers will return to the housing market.  Shares of Centex (NYSE: CTX), Hovnanian Enterprises (NYSE: HOV) and Standard Pacific (NYSE: SPF) rose.

On the downside

Ceradyne (Nasdaq: CRDN) blamed higher expenses for a drop in fourth quarter earnings.  The disappointing results prompted the company to slash its 2008 guidance.

Usec (NYSE: USU) disappointed with lower fourth quarter earnings and a 2008 outlook below expectations.  The company also warned that estimated costs for building its American Centrifuge Plant were too low.

Concerns about LDK Solar's (NYSE: LDK) inventory accounting and profit margins weighed down shares of the solar power products maker.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 7 to 3 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks climbed 7 points to 717.

Mid-Day Report

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Despite falling consumer confidence and rising wholesale prices, the markets soared during the midday as IBM extends is stock repurchase plan.  The Dow leaped 127 points to 12,697 while Nasdaq soared 24 points to 2351.

On the upside

Galderma Laboratories will pay approximately $420 million to acquire CollaGenex Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: CGPI).

Fourth quarter earnings for China Techfaith Wireless Communication Technology (Nasdaq: CNTF) climbed to surpass expectations due to strong sales.

Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Gary Hsueh upgraded Teradyne (NYSE: TER) saying that the company is poised for strong growth.

On the downside

An International Trade Commission judged stayed Tessera Technologies' (Nasdaq: TSRA) patent lawsuit against Motorola (NYSE: MOT), Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM), Freescale Semiconductor and ATI Technologies.

Healthways (Nasdaq: HWAY) blamed disappointing enrollment numbers for slashing its fiscal 2008 outlook.

Although Foster Wheeler (Nasdaq: FWLT) reported higher fourth quarter earnings, the results fell short of estimates.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 7 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 7 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 12 points to 723.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened mostly lower as consumer confidence sank to their lowest levels since 2003.  The Dow fell 19 points to 12,550 while Nasdaq lost 10 points to 2316.

On the upside

Target (NYSE: TGT) posted slightly higher revenues and lower 4th quarter profits, but the results were ahead of estimates.

Tech stocks were mixed, but an analyst upgrade boosted shares of EMC (NYSE: EMC), Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT).

Electronics retailer RadioShack (NYSE: RSH) posted higher 4th quarter profits citing cost-cutting measures.

On the downside

Shares of Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) fell after a comScore report revealed that the search engine's growth rate for paid clicks slowed.

The Home Depot (NYSE: HD) posted profits that fell versus year-ago levels as the home improvement industry pulled back along with a housing market.

K-Swiss (Nasdaq: KSWS) posted higher revenues and a small profit that missed expectations.  Comments from the athletic shoewear maker hinted at marketing challenges.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a slim margin on the NYSE and by a margin of 10 to 9 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks held steady at 711.

Closing Bell Report

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The markets surged to close sharply higher after S&P affirmed its ratings for troubled bond insurers MBIA and Ambac Financial.  The Dow leaped 189 points to 12,570 while Nasdaq soared 24 points to 2327.

On the upside

Mobile Mini (Nasdaq: MINI) will purchase Mobile Storage Group in a deal valued at approximately $701.5 million.

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed the "AAA" ratings for bond insurers MBIA (NYSE: MBI) and Ambac Financial (NYSE: ABK) saying that the companies will most likely raise enough funds to pay possible claims.

Goldman Sachs upgraded Aircastle (NYSE: AYR).

On the downside

Verenium (Nasdaq: VRNM) will offer $54 million in convertible senior notes.

ITT Educational Services (NYSE: ESI) lowered the bottom of its earnings expectation due to uncertainty that students will be able to secure loans.

Shares of Suntech Power Holdings (NYSE: STP) continued to fall after reporting earnings that fell short of estimates last week.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks soared 15 points to 710.

Mid-Day Report

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Despite falling home sales, the markets traded in positive territory during the midday on hopes that the housing market will rebound.  The Dow gained 33 points to 12,414 while Nasdaq added 4 points to 2307.

On the upside

GTx (Nasdaq: GTXI) reported positive late stage trial results for its prostate cancer treatment toremifene citrate.

Private equity firm Hellman & Friedman will take Getty Images (NYSE: GYI) private for approximately $2.1 billion.

Zebra Technologies (Nasdaq: ZBRA) reported higher fourth quarter earnings that beat expectations as international sales rose.

On the downside

Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Ittai Kidron downgraded Motorola (NYSE: MOT) saying that cell phone demand will drop in the first quarter.

Openheimer & Co. analyst Meredith Whitney lowered her earnings estimates for Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) and J. P. Morgan Chase (NYSE: JPM).

Gold Fields (NYSE: GFI) blamed power outages for possibly laying off up to 6,900 employees.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 4 on the NYSE and by more than 10 to 9 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 3 points to 699.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened higher as investors focused on corporate merger news and a possible bail-out of the bond insurance sector.  The Dow rose 48 points to 12,429 while Nasdaq climbed 6 points to 2310.

On the upside

Observers were hopeful that bond insurer Ambac Financial Group (NYSE: ABK) may get a boost from a consortium of banks and investors.

TakeTwo Interactive Software (Nasdaq: TTWO) received a renewed bid from rival Eelctronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS).

Genentech (NYSE: DNA) received an FDA greenlight to accelerate approval for its breast cancer drug treatment.

On the downside

Shares of Syntel (Nasdaq: SYNT) fell after the information technology provider posted higher revenues and earnings, but warned of challening economic conditions.

An analyst downgraded Smith Micro Software (Nasdaq: SMSI) which develops and markets wireless communications software.

Oppenheimer analysts lowered their opinion on the financial services sector weighing down shares of Washington Mutual (NYSE: WM) and Citigroup (NYSE: C).

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 3 to 2 on both the NYSE and Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose 5 points to 701.

Closing Bell Report

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News that a bailout of bond insurer Ambac Financial may be announced early next week sparked a late afternoon rally that lifted the markets to a higher close with the Dow climbing 97 points to 12,381.  Nadsaq added 4 points to 2303.

On the upside

CNBC reported that a plan to bailout bond insurer Ambac Financial (NYSE: ABK) by several banks will be announced either Monday or Tuesday of next week.

Omnicare (NYSE: OCR) named the founder and CEO of ValueAct Jeffrey W. Ubben to its board of directors.

Although Zale (NYSE: ZLC) reported lower second quarter earnings as same store sales fell, the results topped expectations.

On the downside

Orthofix International (Nasdaq: OFIX) blamed a significant write-down of assets for swinging to a fourth quarter loss.

Sigma Designs (Nasdaq: SIGM) vice president of engineering Jacques Martinella exercised options for 22,000 shares of common stock.

Aventine Renewable Energy (NYSE: AVR) said that new plant construction may be delayed due to liquidity problems.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 3 to 2 on the NYSE while decliners edged out advancers by nearly 5 to 4 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped a fraction to 695.

Mid-Day Report

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Despite a drop oil prices, the market fell during the midday with the Dow tumbling 97 points to 12,188.  Nadsaq dropped 28 points to 2272.

On the upside

The U. K. Ministry of Defense ordered an additional 174 Cougar Mastiff vehicles from Force Protection (Nasdaq: FRPT) for approximately $115 million.

Imperium Partners Group will take ESS Technology (Nasdaq: ESST) private in a deal valued at approximately $58.3 million.

While a restructuring charge weighed down fourth quarter earnings for Navigant Consulting (NYSE: NCI), revenue climbed.

On the downside

Syntax-Brillian (Nasdaq: BRLC) amended the terms of its credit pact.

Piper Jaffray analyst Mark D. Churchill downgraded United Natural Foods (Nasdaq: UNFI) after the reported lower second quarter earnings and slashed its outlook for the year.

Life Time Fitness (NYSE: LTM) warned that 2008 results will fall short of expectations.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks fell 8 points to 688.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened mixed as investors focused on corporate news and a slight decline in oil prices.  The Dow edged up 7 points to 12,290 while Nadsaq held steady at 2300.

On the upside

Chinese online gaming company The9 Ltd. (Nasdaq: NCTY) posted a smaller profit, but the results still beat estimates.

Shares of Omnicare (NYSE: OCR) rose after the assisted-living service provider added ValueAct Capital founder and CEO Jeffrey W. Ubben to its board.

DirecTV Group (NYSE: DTV) was upgraded by an analyst citing strong subscriber growth in Latin America for the satellite TV services.

On the downside

Shares of Cbeyond (Nasdaq: CBEY) tumbled after the Internet-based phone and data services company lowered its 2008 outlook.

Intuit (Nasdaq: INTU) posted lower earnings while investors worried about the outlook for the maker of TurboTax software.

Merrill Lynch downgraded government-sponsored lenders Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) and Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) amid the ongoing credit turmoil.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost a point to 695.

Closing Bell Report

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Weak economic data sent the markets tumbling to a sharply lower close with the Dow plunging 143 points to 12,284.  Nasdaq plummeted 27 points to 2300.

On the upside

The acquisition of rival ADVO lifted fourth quarter earnings three times for Valassis (NYSE: VCI) to beat expectatins by a wide margin.

American Railcar Industries (Nasdaq: ARII) reported higher fourth quarter earnings as efficiency improved and railcar shipment capacity increased.

Fourth quarter earnings rose to surpass estimates for TRW Automotive Holdings (NYSE: TRW) as international sales increased.

On the downside

LodgeNet (Nasdaq: LNET) reported a loss for the fourth quarter.

Although fourth quarter earnings soared for 3SBio (Nasdaq: SSRX), the results fell short of estimates and the biotech forecast disappointing 2008 revenue.

Fourth quarter earnings doubled for Hertz Global Holdings (NYSE: HTZ) but the rental car company forecast 2008 revenue below estimates.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks tumbled 14  points to 696.

Mid-Day Report

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The markets traded in negative territory during the midday over disappointing manufacturing data.  The Dow dropped 70 points to 12,358 while Nasdaq lost 9 points to 2318.

On the upside

HLTH (Nasdaq: HLTH) reported lower fourth quarter earnings after spinning off its health care technology business and announced a $2.31 billion merger deal with its subsidiary WebMD Health (Nasdaq: WBMD).

Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) cited strong holiday sales for boosting its subscriber growth forecast for the fourth quarter.

Furniture Brands International (NYSE: FBN) received a buyout offer from Sun Capital Securities.

On the downside

Vasco Data Security International (Nasdaq: VDSI) reported disappointing fourth quarter earnings that fell far short of expectations due to the delay of three large contracts.

Boston Private Financial Holdings (Nasdaq: BPFH) affiliate First Private Bank & Trust plans to raise its loan loss provision by as much as $19 million prompting a downgrade.

Lithia Motors (NYSE: LAD) swung to a loss for the fourth quarter and forecast first quarter as well as full year results well below expectations.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 10 to 9 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks eased a point to 709.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened higher to extend yesterday's gains as analysts dissected the latest manufacturing report, the fourth consecutive monthly decline.  Hope for another interest rate cut lifted bonds as well as the Dow which rose 18 points to 12,445.   Nasdaq climbed 17 points to 2345 on the strength of tech stocks.

On the upside

Department store retailer J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP) posted lower revenues and profits, but beat estimates.  Investors were cheered by a modest growth outlook in the low single digits.

London-based Reed Elsevier (NYSE: RUK) which operates LexisNexis offered to buy ChoicePoint (NYSE: CPS) for $4.1 billion including the assumption of $600 million in debt.

Itron (Nasdaq: ITRI) raised its full-year outlook.  The company makes meter reading equipment for utilities.

On the downside

Novatel Wireless (Nasdaq: NVTL) posted higher 4th quarter profits, but investors were disappointed by its outlook for the current quarter.

Shares of McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurants (Nasdaq: MSSR) fell after the restaurant operator lowered its outlook for 2008.

Psychiatric Solutions (Nasdaq: PSYS) raised its full-year outlook, but warned about its 1st quarter results as the company works on expanding its capacity.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 7 points to 717.

Closing Bell Report

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Despite rising consumer prices and record oil prices, the markets reversed direction to close higher with the Dow climbing 90 points to 12,427.  Nasdaq rose 21 points to 2327.

On the upside

Although Chuck E. Cheese operator CEC Entertainment (NYSE: CEC) swung to a loss for the fourth quarter, the company forecast upbeat first quarter as well as 2008 results.

Although fourth quarter earnings slipped for Oil States International (NYSE: OIS), the results surpassed expectations.

UBS analyst David Goldberg upgraded Meritage Homes (NYSE: MTH) for the homebuilder's impressive ability to produce free cash flow.

On the downside

Fourth quarter earnings fell for DealerTrack Holdings (Nasdaq: TRAK) prompting the company to forecast 2008 results below expectations.

Spetranetics (Nasdaq: SPNC) disappointed with fourth quarter earnings that fell short of estimates.

While Tween Brands (NYSE: TWB) reported higher fourth quarter earnings, revenue missed expectations.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by more than 9 to 7 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 8 points to 710.

Mid-Day Report

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Rising consumer prices weighed down the markets during the midday with the Dow tumbling 74 points to 12,263.  Nasdaq lost 10 points to 2296.

On the upside

Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) will pay approximately $195 million to acquire biopharmaceutical Encysive Pharmaceuticals(Nasdaq: ENCY).

As part of a restructuring plan, Walter Industries (NYSE: WLT) will lay off workers and close 36 sales centers.

Although LTX Corp. (Nasdaq: LTXX) reported a loss for the second quarter, sales rose.

On the downside

NutriSystem (Nasdaq: NTRI) forecast first quarter as well as full year revenue well below analyst estimates prompting a downgrade.

While Crocs (Nasdaq: CROX) reported sharply higher fourth quarter earnings, the colorful plastic shoemaker forecast 2008 results that fell short of expectations.

Fourth quarter earnings for Suntech Power Holdings (NYSE: STP) rose but not enough to meet expectations.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 9 to 7 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 2 points to 700.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened lower as investors worried about high oil prices and an uptick in consumer prices in January.  The Dow dropped 100 points to 12,236 while Nasdaq lost 12 points to 2293.

On the upside

Discount retailer TJX (NYSE: TJX) posted sharply higher 4th quarter profits citing strong margin controls.  Favorable foreign currency exchange rates also boosted the operator of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls stores.

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) posted higher earnings that beat estimates.  Analysts promptly upgraded the stock.

Semiconductor stocks rose after a Thomas Weisel analyst predicted in a recovery in the chip market.  Shares of Micron Technology (NYSE: MU) edged higher.

On the downside

A $20 billion deal to combine Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) and Northwest Airlines (NYSE: NWA) may be hindered by an impasse between the pilot unions of the two companies, according to an AP report.

Organic food retailer Whole Foods Market (Nasdaq: WFMI) reported higher same-store sales, but its profit margins concerned some analysts.

Shares of Sharper Image (Nasdaq: SHRP) tumbled below $1 after the high-tech gadget retailer filed for bankruptcy protection.

In the broad market, decling issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 4 points to 698.

Closing Bell Report

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The markets closed modestly lower as crude oil prices surged to settle at a record $100.01 per barrel.  The Dow lost 11 points to 12,337 while Nasdaq dropped 16 points to 2306.

On the upside

Cell Genesys (Nasdaq: CEGE) reported positive mid stage trial results for its prostate cancer vaccine GVAX on Friday.

Martha Stewart Living (NYSE: MSO) paid $45 million in cash and $5 million in stock to acquire the rights to Emeril Lagasse's cookbooks, kitchen products, and television shows franchise.

Stifel Nicolaus analyst Paul Forward upgraded Foundation Coal Holdings (NYSE: FCL) due to rising coal prices.

On the downside

AbitibiBowater (NYSE: ABH) delayed its fourth quarter and full year earnings release from tomorrow, February 20, until next Thursday, February 28.

Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ) sparked a pricing war with the introduction of a $99.99 unlimited calling plan.  Rivals AT&T Mobility (NYSE: T) and T-Mobile (NYSE: DT) followed suit with their own unlimited plans.

Shares of Huron Consulting (Nasdaq: HURN) tumbled ahead of its earnings release.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 4 to 3 on the NYSE while decliners edged out advancers by nearly 10 to 9 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a point to 702.

Mid-Day Report

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Upbeat earnings lifted the markets higher during the midday with the Dow soaring 111 points to 12,460.  Nasdaq climbed 15 points to 2337.

On the upside

An analyst upgraded Mentor Graphics (Nasdaq: MENT) after the company reported preliminary 2008 results that surpassed expectations.

Fourth quarter earnings for OfficeMax (NYSE: OMX) rose to beat estimates despite falling sales as the company cut expenses.

A surge in sales lifted fourth quarter earnings for Holly (Nasdaq: HOC) to beat expectations.

On the downside

Credit Suisse (Nasdaq: CS) overstated its assets by $2.85 billion and has suspended some traders for overvaluing securities.  The bank may also have to restate 2007 financials.

Idearc (NYSE: IAR) named chairman John Mueller as a replacement for Kathy Harless in the position of chief executive.

CapitalSource (NYSE: CSE) may terminate its acquistion of TierOne (Nasdaq: TONE) or change the terms of the deal.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 7 to 3 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks climbed 7 points to 708.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened higher on positive earnings news from Wal-Mart Stores.  The Dow surged more than 100 points to 12,450 while Nasdaq added 16 points to 2338.

On the upside

4th quarter revenues grew by 8% while profits rose 4% at Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT) while international sales represented a quarter of all business.  CEO Lee Scott credited the success to a timely shift from fashion and trendier merchandise to discount groceries and health items for a tough economic environment.

Shares of Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) edged higher after Bill Gates mentioned that it was not a private talks to raise its $41 billion offer for Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) whose shares slipped in early trading.

Aluminum products maker Kaiser Aluminum  (Nasdaq: KALU) posted sharply higher 4th quarter profits that beat estimates due to strong demand for its aerospace and defense products.

On the downside

Shares of Onyx Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ONXX) tumbled after it reported disappointing results for its lung cancer drug treatment and suspended late stage trials.

Five people were injured at a refinery owned by Alon USA (NYSE: ALJ) after an explosion on Monday where a skeleton crew of just 40 people were working due to the Presidents' Day holiday.

Shares of Penwest Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: PPCO) on worries of another generic rival for its Opana pain reliever drug.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose 5 points to 707.

Market Holiday Report

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The markets are closed Monday for the Presidents' Day holiday.

In oversesas trading, shares of Toshiba and Sony (NYSE: SNE) rose sharply following reports of an imminent end to the DVD format wars.   In recent weeks, Sony's Blu-ray format gained the support of almost all studios, retailers, and hardware manufacturers while Toshiba is likely to phase out its HD-DVD format.

Closing Bell Report

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The markets closed modestly lower as mortgage delinquencies rose at Countrywide.  The Dow dropped 29 points to 12,348 while Nasdaq lost 11 points to 2322.

On the upside

Fourth quarter earnings rose to beat expectations for Cognex (Nasdaq: CGNX).

Although first earnings dropped for Brocade Communications Systems (Nasdaq: BRCD), the results beat expectations and the data networking company affirmed its outlook.

Radian Group (NYSE: RDN) swung to a fourth quarter loss but CEO S. A. Ibrahim said that the company has increased its loss reserves to $1.3 billion.

On the downside

Premier Exhibitions (Nasdaq: PRXI) vice president and chief financial officer Stephen Couture resigned effective immediately.

Shares of Yingli Green Energy Holding (NYSE: YGE) fell despite reporting sharply higher fourth quarter earnings.

Barnes Group (NYSE: B) reported lower fourth quarter earnings that fell short of estimates.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 9 to 7 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 4 points to 702.

Mid-Day Report

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Plunging consumer confidence and a weak manufacturing report sent the markets tumbling during the midday with the Dow dropping 73 points to 12,304.  Nasdaq fell 21 points to 2312.

On the upside

American Medical Systems (Nasdaq: AMMD) blamed a legal charge for swinging to a fourth quarter loss but the medical device maker forecast 2008 results above estimates.

The Wall Street Journal reported that a Bear Stearns (NYSE: BSC) conference call may have misled investors about the risks of two hedge funds that collapsed.

Warren Buffett became the largest shareholder of Kraft Foods (NYSE: KFT) when Berkshire Hathaway purchased an 8.6% stake in the foodmaker.

On the downside

Fourth quarter earnings for Arris Group (Nasdaq: ARRS) plunged due to a larger tax bill.  The communications technology company also forecast first quarter results well below estimates

Nasdaq will delist Aspen Technology (Nasdaq: AZPN) after the company missed several filing deadlines.

Although Massey Energy's (NYSE: MEE) subsidiary New River denies that its drilling operation caused a flood in Delbarton, the company is paying for the cleanup.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks dropped 8 points to 697.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened to news of a weak manufacturing report.  The Dow fell 36 points to 12,340 while Nasdaq lost 9 points to 2322 as investors continued to worry about a deteriorating economy.

On the upside

Priceline.com (Nasdaq: PCLN) reported 4th quarter earnings that more than doubled as online travel bookings surged.

The Campbell Soup (NYSE: CPB) posted slightly lower profits as sales climbed due to more diverse product offerings.

Shares of Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF) edged higher after the clothing retailer posted higher earnings and revenues despite declining same-store sales.

On the downside

Consumer electronics retailer Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) announced weak January sales versus year-ago and projected slightly lower revenues for the fiscal year ended March 1.

Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) plunged after the restaurant chain's 4th quarter profits and sales missed expectations.

Emcore (Nasdaq: EMKR) planned a stock offering to raise funds earmarked for the purchase of a telecommunication technology business unit from Intel (Nasdaq: INTC).

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 3 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks dropped 3 points to 701.

Closing Bell Report

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The markets plunged to close sharply lower after Fed chief Bernanke assessed the economy as experiencing sluggish growth.  The Dow plummeted 175 points to 12,377 while Nasdaq skidded 41points to 2333.

On the upside

Moody's Investors Service said that while Ambac's (NYSE: ABK) ratings is still under review, the company is better positioned than Financial Guaranty Insurance, which was downgraded.

Analysts are hopeful that the Food and Drug Administration's inspection of a Florida manufacturing site of Watson Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: WPI) signals the end of a manufacturing hold placed on the plant in 2005.

Faro Technologies (Nasdaq: FARO) reported higher fourth quarter earnings that beat expectations.

On the downside

Fourth quarter earnings for Build-A-Bear Workshop (NYSE: BBW) tumbled to fall short of expectations due to inventory write-off costs.

UBS AG (NYSE: UBS) blamed write-downs from subprime mortgages for reporting a fourth quarter loss of $11.28 billion.

Shares of Bally Technologies (NYSE: BYI) dropped despite swinging to a second quarter profit that surpassed expectations.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 7 to 2 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plunged 17points to 705.

Mid-Day Report

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Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's comments that the economy will continue sliding sent the markets tumbling during the midday with the Dow dropping 94 points to 12,458.  Nasdaq tumbled 26 points to 2348.

On the upside

Strong demand lifted fourth quarter earnings for Amkor Technology (Nasdaq: AMKR) to beat expectations by a wide margin.

Although Equinix (Nasdaq: EQIX) swung to a fourth quarter loss due to soaring expenses, the data center provider lifted its 2008 revenue guidance.

Advanced Medical Optics (NYSE: EYE) blamed a contact lens solution recall for widening fourth quarter losses and lowered its revenue outlook for 2008 but the guidance was within analyst estimates.

On the downside

Deutsche Securities downgraded Allscripts (Nasdaq: MDRX) after the clinical software provider reported fourth quarter revenue below estimates.

Netgear (Nasdaq: NTGR) blamed higher costs for fourth quarter earnings that slipped to fall short of estimates and forecast first quarter results below expectations.

Liz Claiborne (NYSE: LIZ) warned that fourth quarter earnings will fall short of estimates due to weak sales.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks tumbled 12 points to 710.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened lower as investors mulled over the latest jobless claims report.  The Dow lost 44 points to 12,507 while Nasdaq slipped 5 points to 2368.

On the upside

Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) posted higher earnings as cable spending by consumers rose.  The nation's largest cable operator also announced a dividend and the completion of a $6.9 billion stock buyback.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber (NYSE: GT) posted a profit versus year-ago losses citing strong U.S. and international sales.

Chinese Internet portal Baidu.com (Nasdaq: BIDU) posted higher profits as revenues doubled.  Analysts raised their long-term targets for the stock.

On the downside

UBS AG (NYSE: UBS) posted a 4th quarter loss of $11 billion citing massive subprime mortgage charges.  Switzerland's largest bank holds another $27 billion in subprime mortgage-related investments.

Shares of scientific equipment maker Agilent Technologies (NYSE:A) fell after the company posted lower profits due to eroding margins.

Graphics chipmaker Nvidia (Nasdaq: NVDA) reported higher earnings, but analysts worried that higher expenses may cut into margins.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 4 to 3 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 4 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 2 points to 720.

Closing Bell Report

|

Surprisingly strong retail sales in January boosted the markets to a higher close with the Dow leaping 179 points to 12,552.  Nasdaq surged 54 points to 2374.

On the upside

Shares of Nortel Networks (NYSE: NT) rose after CEO Mike Zafirovski said that the company will benefit when wireless phone carriers upgrade their networks.

Jones Apparel (NYSE: JNY) narrowed fourth quarter losses.

Fourth quarter earnings for Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE: ANR) fell sharply from last year.

On the downside

Although fourth quarter earnings for Healthcare Serivces Group (Nasdaq: HCSG) rose, the results fell short of estimates.

Standard & Poor's may cut its ratings on PMI Group (NYSE: PMI).

Tronox (NYSE: TRX) warned of losses for the fourth quarter due to tax charges and lower sales prices.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 3 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 16 points to 722.

Mid-Day Report

|

Upbeat January retail sales lifted the markets higher during the midday with the Dow soaring 83 points to 12,457.  Nasdaq leaped 31 points to 2351.

On the upside

Evergreen Solar (Nasdaq: ESLR) lowered the number of common shares to be offered in a public offering by 4 million to 16 million and priced the offering at $9.50 per share.

General Cable (NYSE: BGC) reported higher fourth quarter earnings that surpassed expectations.

Fourth quarter earnings rose to beat expectations for American Reprographics (NYSE: ARP)

On the downside

Although Anadigics (Nasdaq: ANAD) beat estimates for the fourth quarter, the chipmaker forecast first quarter results below expectations.

MGIC Investment (NYSE: MTG) blamed increasd mortgage delinquencies for swinging to a fourth quarter loss of $1.5 billion.

Fourth quarter earnings plunged for Dean Foods (NYSE: DF) due to higher dairy expenses and reorganization costs.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 9 points to 715.

Opening Bell Report

|

The markets opened sharply higher following news that retail sales unexpectedly rose in January.  The Dow surged 111 points to 12,485 while Nasdaq leaped 32 points to 2352.

On the upside

Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) posted higher revenues and earnings that beat estimates.  Shares of the world's largest beverage producer and a Dow component rose.

Shares of another Dow component Deere & Company (NYSE: DE) rose after the agricultural equipment maker posted higher earnings that exceeded forecasts.

Shares of First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR) surged after the solar panel maker reported 4th quarter profits that beat expectations.   Analysts promptly upgraded the stock.

On the downside

Wynn Resorts (Nasdaq: WYNN) posted a profit for the 4th quarter versus a year-ago loss, but the company warned of a slowing U.S economy impacting the casino industry.

Shares of Blue Nile (Nasdaq: NILE) tumbled after the online jewelry retailer posted higher 4th quarter profits while issuing a disappointing outlook.

Vehicle remanufacturing and logistics company Aftermarket Technology (Nasdaq: ATAC) lowered its profit targets for 2008.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 3 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose 4 points to 709.

Closing Bell Report

|

A plan to freeze mortgage foreclosures lifted the markets to a higher close with the Dow soaring 133 points to 12,373.  Nasdaq held steady at 2320.

On the upside

Fourth quarter profit more than doubled for Veeco Instruments (Nasdaq: VECO) as demand rose and interest expenses slipped.

Compass Minerals International (NYSE: CMP) reported sharply higher fourth quarter earnings that beat expectations.

Although Assured Guaranty (NYSE: AGO) swung to a loss for the fourth quarter, the results beat expectations.

On the downside

Cynosure (Nasdaq: CYNO) reported fourth quarter earnings that more than tripled to surpass estimates but the stock price tumbled.

Friedman, Billings, Ramsey analyst Karen Short downgraded Winn-Dixie (Nasdaq: WINN) saying that customers will most likely to spend less in the next year.

Masco (NYSE: MAS) warned that the housing slump will hurt sales through 2008.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by more than 9 to 7 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 6 points to 705.

Mid-Day Report

|

The markets continued to rise during the midday after Warren Buffett offered to back municipal bonds.  The Dow leaped 217 points to 12,457 while Nasdaq surged 26 points to 2346.

On the upside

GMH Communities Trust (NYSE: GCT) will sell its military housing division for $350 million in cash to a subsidiary of Balfour Beatty PLC.  American Campus Communities will purchase GMH's other businesses for approximately $437 million in cash and stock.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (NYSE: VRX) reported that a late stage clinical trial of its epilepsy treatment retigabine reduced the frequency of seizures.

Although Nuance Communications (Nasdaq: NUAN) widened first quarter losses, revenue beat expectations and the speech recognition software company forecast second quarter revenue ahead of estimates.

On the downside

NxStage Medical (Nasdaq: NXTM) blamed higher costs for fourth quarter losses that were wider than expected.

Zoltek (Nasdaq: ZOLT) swung to a first quarter profit as sales rose, but the results fell short of expectations.

Dycom Industries (NYSE: DY) cut its forecast for the second quarter as customers reduced spending.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks climbed 12 points to 711.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened sharply higher after Warren Buffett offered to back municipal bonds.  The Dow surged 149 points to 12,389 while Nasdaq climbed 18 points to 2338.

On the upside

General Motors (NYSE: GM) reported a $38.7 billion loss for 2007, the largest for an automotive company.  However, analysts were optimistic about the company's turnaround efforts which included cutting expenses and buying out non-assembly jobs.

Shares of Schering-Plough (NYSE: SGP) rose after the drug maker posted a 40% jump in 4th quarter sales and higher profits that both exceeded expectations.

Shares of 99 Cents Only Stores (NYSE: NDN) posted higher 3rd quarter profits due to improved margins.  Analysts also pointed out that consumers tend to shop at discount stores during slow economic times.

On the downside

Shares of Masco (NYSE: MAS) fell after the cabinet maker lowered its sales outlook for the year.  Analysts promptly lowered their price targets for the stock.

Expeditors (Nasdaq: EXPD) posted earnings that missed estimates as higher fuel costs cut into margins for the freight and shipping company.

Biotechnology company Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: VRTX) posted a wider loss and announced plans to underwrite 6 million shares.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose 7 points to 707.

Closing Bell Report

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Continuing problems in the mortgage industry prompted hopes of further rate cuts to lift the markets to a higher close with the Dow climbing 58 points to 12,240.  Nasdaq gained 15 points to 2320.

On the upside

Empire Resorts (Nasdaq: NYNY) will move Monticello Gaming and Raceway to a new $700 million complex in the Catskills that will include a hotel, restaurants, retail shops, an entertainment center and a convention center.

A weekend edition of Barron's included an upbeat article on JDS Uniphase (Nasdaq: JDSU).

Carlisle Cos. (NYSE: CSL) beat expectations for the fourth quarter.

On the downside

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst Jonathan Block expects the American Medical Association to rate NeuroMetrix's (Nasdaq: NURO) NC-Stat monitor a category III code, which means that Medicare and Medicaid is not likely to reimburse for the use of the product.

CNA Financial (NYSE: CNA) blamed investment losses for sharply lower fourth quarter earnings that missed expectations by a wide margin.

Analysts downgraded Centene (NYSE: CNC) after the managed care company reported lower earnings that fell short of estimates last week.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 10 to 9 on the NYSE and by nearly the same on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a fraction to 700.

Mid-Day Report

|

Despite concerns of further mortgage write-offs by AIG, the markets turned positive during the midday as investors focused on upbeat earnings and mergers and acquisitions.  The Dow gained 30 points to 12,212 while Nasdaq climbed 13 points to 2318.

On the upside

Bayer AG affiliate Medrad Inc. will pay approximately $344 million in cash to purchase Possis Medical (Nasdaq: POSS).

Casual restaurant operator Darden Restaurants (NYSE: DRI) expects same store sales to rise in the third quarter and reaffirmed its outlook for fiscal 2008.

Hypercom (NYSE:HYC) and rival Ingenico engaged in discussions to explore the possible acquisition of Hypercom by Ingenico.


On the downside

LCA-Vision (Nasdaq: LCAV) blamed higher advertising costs and fewer procedures for reporting lower fourth quarter earnings.

Fourth quarter earnings for PNM Resources (NYSE: PNM) plunged to miss expectations due to the low availability at three of its power plants in New Mexico.

Loews (NYSE: LTR) reported lower fourth quarter earnings due to investment losses and higher costs.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 4 on the NYSE and by 10 to 9 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 2 points to 697.

Opening Bell Report

|

The markets opened lower as the credit crunch continued to take its toll on the financial services sector.  American International Group weighed on the Dow which fell 81 points to 12,100 while Nasdaq slipped 4 points to 2300.

On the upside

Shares of Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) rose after the Internet portal rejected a $44 billion by Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT).

Shares of Chevron (NYSE: CVX) and Banc of America (NYSE: BAC) edged higher on news that the two stocks will replace Honeywell (NYSE: HON) and Altria Group (NYSE: MO) as components of the Dow Jones Industrial average, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

On the downside

American International Group (NYSE: AIG) found material weaknesses in its financial reporting and was likely to take charges against collateralized debt obligations.

Insurer and broker Brown & Brown (NYSE: BRO) posted lower profits that missed estimates due to a decline in policy renewals and lower premium rates.

Shares of Centene (NYSE: CNC) fell after analysts downgraded the managed-care programs provider.  The company had posted higher profits that beat expectations on Friday.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 5 points to 693.

Closing Bell Report

|

It was a mixed close for the markets as consumer confidence fell while crude oil prices rose.  The Dow tumbled 65 points to 12,182 while Nasdaq climbed 12 points to 2305.

On the upside

Citi analyst Doug Leggate said in a client note that Marathon Oil (Nasdaq: MRO) had a lot of growth potential and called the company "the value play in the sector."

VNUS Medical Technologies (Nasdaq: VNUS) reversed year ago losses to report a profit for the fourth quarter as revenue surged.

TerreStar (Nasdaq: TSTR) announced that it has lined up a $300 million investment from various investors.

On the downside

PDF Solutions (Nasdaq: PDFS) reversed year ago losses to report a profit for the fourth quarter as revenue rose but the stock price plummeted.

Brush Engineered Materials (NYSE: BW) disappointed with sharply lower fourth quarter earnings and 2008 results that fall far short of expectations.

Deutsche Securities downgraded R. H. Dennelley (NYSE: RHD).

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 3 to 2 on the NYSE and by more than 9 to 7 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 4 points to 699.

Mid-Day Report

|

The markets traded mixed during the midday as consumer confidence dropped.  The Dow tumbled 61 points to 12,186 while Nasdaq rose 9 points to 2302.

On the upside

Strong sales growth boosted fourth quarter earnings for Cognizant Technology Solutions (Nasdaq: CTSH) to beat expectations and the information technology services provider forecast 2008 results above estimates.

Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) forecast higher 2008 revenue due to strong international sales.

Alliance Data Systems (NYSE: ADS) dropped the lawsuit it filed against The Blackstone Group to force the private equity firm to complete its acquistion of Alliance Data.

On the downside

An analyst downgraded Aruba Networks (Nasdaq: ARUN) after the computer network provider warned that it will fall far short of second quarter expectations.

UTi Worldwide (Nasdaq: UTIW) cut its 2008 earnings guidance and announced a restructuring plan that includes job cuts.

The Food and Drug Administration is reviewing Allergan's (NYSE: AGN) Botox after some cases of death and serious reactions occured in patients.

In the broad market, declining issues barely edged out advancers by a slim margin on the NYSE while advancers outpaced decliners by nearly 10 to 9 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks edged up 2 points to 704.

Opening Bell Report

|

The markets opened mixed as weak corporate earnings and dampened consumer confidence weighed on blue chips.  The Dow lost 21 points to 12,225 while Nasdaq rose 14 points to 2307.

On the upside

Coin machine operator Coinstar (Nasdaq: CSTR) posted a 4th quarter loss mostly due to equipment charges.  However, the results exceed expectations.

Activision (Nasdaq: ATVI) posted a 3rd quarter profit and soaring sales due to the strength of its "Call of Duty" and "Guitar Hero" video game sales.

Security software maker McAfee (NYSE: MFE) posted a 4th quarter profits that beat estimates.

On the downside

Auto parts supplier BorgWarner (NYSE: BWA) posted sharply higher 4th quarter profits due to strong international sales and favorable currency exchange rates.  However, domestic sales remained sluggish.

Weyerhaeuser (NYSE: WY) posted a 4th quarter loss due to a decline in demand for lumber from the housing industry.  The company lowered its guidance for the rest of the year.

TransDigm Group (NYSE: TDG) posted higher earnings and revenues while reaffirming its outlook for 2008.  However, investors took profits as shares of the aircraft component maker fell.

In the broad market, advancing issues were break even with decliners on the NYSE, but were ahead by a margin of 4 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks edged up 2 points to 704.

Closing Bell Report

|

Passage of an economic stimulus plan by the Senate lifted the markets to a higher close with the Dow rising 47 points to 12,247.  Nasdaq climbed 14 points to 2293.

On the upside

The former chief executive of The Children's Place Retail Stores (Nasdaq: PLCE), Ezra Dabah, may offer $578 million to purchase the children's clothing retailer.

January same store sales for Family Dollar Stores (NYSE: FDO) were essentially flat, which was better than the expected drop of 0.4%.

Moody's (NYSE: MCO) blamed the slowdown in the credit markets for sharply lower fourth quarter revenue and earnings but the results beat expectations.

On the downside

Taleo (Nasdaq: TLEO) reported higher fourth quarter earnings that topped expectations as revenue rose but the stock price tumbled.

Fourth quarter earnings for Prudential Financial (NYSE: PRU) fell to miss estimates due to the troubled credit markets.  The company also cut its 2008 earnings outlook.

Although Spirit AeroSystems (NYSE: SPR) swung to a fourth quarter profit, the results fell short of expectations and the company warned that 2008 earnings are likely to slip.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 9 to 7 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks climbed 10 points to 703.

Mid-Day Report

|

Despite disappointing January retail sales, the markets traded higher during the midday with the Dow gaining 48 points to 12,249.  Nasdaq rose 20 points to 2299.

On the upside

Power Integrations (Nasdaq: POWI) reported fourth quarter earnings that more than doubled.

J. C. Penney (NYSE: JCP) reported a much more modest 1.9% slip in same store sales than the expected 6.3% drop.

Fourth quarter earnings for Laboratory Corp. of America (NYSE: LH) rose to beat expectations.

On the downside

Select Comfort (Nasdaq: SCSS) blamed the weak economy for reporting sharply lower fourth quarter earnings that missed expectations by a wide margin.

Fourth quarter revenue fell to miss expectations for Idearc (NYSE: IAR) while the publisher of yellow and white page directories warned that 2008 revenue will also disappoint.

Infineon Technologies (NYSE: IFX) swung to a loss for the first quarter and cut its outlook for chips used in phones.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 5 to 4 on the NYSE and by nearly the same on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 5 points to 697.

Opening Bell Report

|

The markets opened lower as a disappointing outlook by Cisco Systems weighed on tech stocks.  The Dow lost 78 points to 12,121 while Nasdaq dropped 26 points to 2252.

On the upside

Shares of CME Group (NYSE: CME) and NYMEX (NYSE: NMX) recovered after analysts suggested the stocks were unsold and that Department of Justice were unlikely to block mergers between futures exchanges.

Transportation management company Hub Group (Nasdaq: HUBG) posted a profit that beat expectations as its trucking and freight businesses grew rather than stay flat as projected by analysts.

Shares of Valence Technology (Nasdaq: VLNC) soared after the company posted a small loss on sharply higher revenues.  The company also signed a contract to supply up to $70 million in battery packs to The Tanfield Group.

On the downside

Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO) posted earnings that met lowered expectations and issued a disappointing outlook that acknowledged slow corporate spending for Internet equipment.

GlaxoSmithKline PLC (NYSE: GSK) reported a small decline in profits on slightly higher revenues, but investors worried that generic competition and weaker sales for the company's diabetes drug treatment may mean single-digit growth through the rest of the year.

Shares of Corporate Executive Board (Nasdaq: EXBD) plunged after the management consulting firm posted higher earnings that beat estimates while lowering its profit oulook due to smaller contracts.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by 5 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped a fraction to 692.

Closing Bell Report

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A slowdown in worker productivity weighed down the markets to a lower close with the Dow dropping 65 points to 12,200.  Nasdaq plunged 31 points to 2279.

On the upside

First quarter earnings for Multi-Fineline Electronix (Nasdaq: MFLX) surged to beat expectations as sales climbed and margins improved.

A gain from a joint venture helped Monaco Coach (NYSE: MNC) swing to a fourth quarter profit and surpass expectations.

Penson Worldwide (Nasdaq: PNSN) reported higher fourth quarter earnings that beat expectations as revenue soared.

On the downside

Although CommVault Systems (Nasdaq: CVLT) reported higher third quarter earnings, the company trimmed its full year forecast.

While fourth quarter earnings for RadiSys (Nasdaq: RSYS) beat expectations, the company forecast disappointing first quarter results.

National Financial Partners (NYSE: NFP) warned that fourth quarter results will fall far short of estimates.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 5 to 3 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks tumbled 9 points to 692.

Mid-Day Report

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The markets advanced during the midday despite a slowdown in worker productivity and rising labor costs.  The Dow soared 88 points to 12,353 while Nasdaq climbed 21 points to 2331.

On the upside

Advent Software (Nasdaq: ADVS) reported fourth quarter earnings and revenue above expectations and forecast full year results above estimates as well prompting an upgrade.

Increased sales along with a lower tax rate boosted third quarter earnings for Polo Ralph Lauren (NYSE: RL) to surpass expectations.  The apparel maker lifted its full year outlook.

Thermo Fisher Scientific's (NYSE: TMO) acquisition of Fisher Scientific lifted fourth quarter earnings to beat estimates prompting the scientific instruments and laboratory supplies company to forecast 2008 results above expectations.

On the downside

IDM Pharma (Nasdaq: IDMI) received a warning letter from the Nasdaq Stock Market that the biopharmaceutical will be delisted if it's stock price does not close above $1 for ten consecutive days over the next 180 days.

Fourth quarter earnings surged for Double-Take Software (Nasdaq: DBTK) as prices rose but the company forecast first quarter as well as full year results below expectations.

Although NeuStar (NYSE: NSR) reported higher fourth quarter earnings that beat expectations, the company forecast 2008 earnings that fell short of estimates.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks climbed 8 points to 710.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened higher as investors mulled over 4th quarter productivity and labor costs which were more positive than expected.  The Dow added 36 ponts to 12,302 while Nasdaq climbed 15 points to 2325.

On the upside

Disney (NYSE: DIS) reported lower earnings that beat estimates due to the strength of its ESPN operations and "High School Musical" and "Hannah Montana" franchises that drove revenues.

Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) credited stronger results from cable and movies for higher adjusted profits.  The stock edged up despite some uncertainty surrounding AOL and its advertising services.

Shares of JDS Uniphase (Nasdaq: JDSU) surged after the communications test and fiber-optic network equipment posted lower profits that surpass expectations.

On the downside

Shares of Toll Brothers (NYSE: TOL) edged lower after the luxury homebuilder posted lower 1st quarter revenues, its 7th consecutive decline, as the entire housing industry continued to languish.

Shares of Riverbed Technologies (Nasdaq: RVBD) dropped after the software company reported higher revenues and earnings that failed to impress analysts.

FormFactor (Nasdaq: FORM) reported lower profits and announced job cuts.  Analysts promptly lowered their opinion on the semiconductor company.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 5 to 4 on the NYSE and by 4 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped a point to 700.

Closing Bell Report

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An unexpected contraction in the service sector stoked recessionary fears sending the markets skidding to close sharply lower with the Dow plummeting 370 points to 12,265.  Nasdaq plunged 73 points to 2310.

On the upside

Illumina (Nasdaq: ILMN) forecast first quarter as well as full year results above expectations prompting an upgrade.

Higher sales lifted fourth quarter earnings for Corn Products International (NYSE: CPO) to beat expectations.

Fourth quarter earnings for Owens & Minor (NYSE: OMI) more than doubled to beat expectations as expenses decreased.

On the downside

Shares of Synchronoss Technologies (Nasdaq: SNCR) fell despite reporting sharply higher fourth quarter earnings.

J. P. Morgan analyst Charles Grom downgraded Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) saying that same store sales will continue to be weak due to the economic downturn.

Despite posting fourth quarter earnings that more than tripled, shares of NYSE Euronext (NYSE: NYX) tumbled over the delay of some cost cutting measures.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly the same on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plummeted 22 points to 702.

Mid-Day Report

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The first contraction of the nation's service sector in nearly five years sent the markets tumbling during the midday with the Dow plummetingf 262 points to 12,374.  Nasdaq plunged 45 points to 2338.

On the upside

IDM Pharma (Nasdaq: IDMI) reported positive late stage trial results of its bone cancer treatment.

Although Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS) reported lower fourth quarter earnings that fell short of expectations, the company's Venetian Macao results rose.

Fourth quarter earnings fell for Avon Products (NYSE: AVP) due to restructuring charges but the results surpassed expectations.

On the downside

VCA Antech (Nasdaq: WOOF) reported fourth quarter revenue that fell short of expectations in a preliminary earnings release prompting a downgrade.

Rainmaker Systems (Nasdaq: RMKR) blamed the loss of a major client for guiding 2008 revenue below expectations.

Fourth quarter earnings plummeted to fall far short of estimates for Principal Financial (NYSE: PFG) due to difficult conditions in the financial markets.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks tumbled 10 points to 714.

Opening Bell Report

|

The markets opened sharply lower as a weak service sector report reinforced worries that the economy may be slipping into a recession.  The Dow lost 189 points to 12,445 while Nasdaq dropped 27 points to 2355.

On the upside

Whirlpool (NYSE: WHR) posted higher 4th quarter profits that beat estimates.  Global demand for its products helped to offset weak domestic sales in the U.S.

Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) launched a new line of high-end iPhones featuring more memory and new mapping and media software to watch movies.

Information technology services provider Computer Sciences (NYSE: CSC) reported higher 3rd quarter earnings citing strong demand for its services in the U.S. and Europe.

On the downside

Shares of microchip maker Sirf Technology Holdings (Nasdaq: SIRF) tumbled after the company posted lower profits and slashed its 1st quarter guidance.   Analysts promptly downgraded the stock.

Diversified manufacturer Tyco International (NYSE: TYC) posted lower earnings and revenues that beat estimates.  Nonetheless, its shares edged lower along with other blue chip companies.

Shares of Yum Brands (NYSE: YUM) fell after the operator of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut restaurant posted slightly lower profits with sales in China and its international operations offsetting higher costs.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks fell 8 points to 714.

Closing Bell Report

|

Skittish investors sent the markets down to a lower close even as factory orders rose.  The Dow tumbled 108 points to 12,635 while Nasdaq plunged 31 points to 2383.

On the upside

Quicksilver Resources (NYSE: KWK) announced the addition of 608 billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalents to its reserves in 2007 to total 1.55 trillion cubic feet of natural gas equivalents on December 31, 2007.

Volvo Trucks North America extended an agreement with Cummins (NYSE: CMI) to use the Cummins ISX engine in trucks with a 15 liter engine.

Last week, Ardour Capital initiated coverage of Gushan Environmental Energy (NYSE: GU) with a Buy rating while Jim Cramer said that the company has a lot of potential.

On the downside

While BluePhoenix Solutions (Nasdaq: BPHX) reported higher fourth quarter earnings last week, revenue fell short of estimates.

Hovnanian Enterprises (NYSE: HOV) received a temporary waiver to certain conditions of its credit facilities and will amend its credit facility by March 14.

Robert W. Baird & Co. expects Family Dollar (NYSE: FDO) to report flat to lower same store sale in January due to strong competition and higher gas prices.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 3 to 2 on the NYSE and by more than 9 to 7 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks fell 7 ponts to 723.

Mid-Day Report

|

Despite an increase in December factory orders, the markets fell during the midday as confidence in the economy continued to waver.  The Dow dropped 64 points to 12,680 while Nasdaq fell 14 points to 2399.

On the upside

Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE: FSL) will acquire Sigmatel (Nasdaq: SGTL) in a deal valued at approximately $108 million.

Billionaire investors Carl Icahn purchased 1.5 million shares of Greenbrier Cos. (NYSE: GBX), which is a 9.5% stake in the railroad freight car equipment maker.

Yingli Green Energy (NYSE: YGE) announced a thinner solar power wafer that will be cheaper to make and expects to ship more products.

On the downside

Thomas Weisel Partners analyst Liz Dunn downgraded Coldwater Creek (Nasdaq: CWTR) saying that the women's apparel retailer's growth is too aggressive.

Dollar Thrifty Automotive (NYSE: DTG) cited falling demand, weak sales and lower prices for slashing its 2007 outlook.

Analysts blamed the credit crisis for downgrading Capital One Financial (NYSE: COF).

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 4 on the NYSE and by more than 10 to 9 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 3 ponts to 727.

Opening Bell Report

|

Investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of corporate earnings news and December's factory orders report from the Commerce Department.  The Dow lost 58 points to 12,685 while Nasdaq fell 13 points to 2400.

On the upside

A Barron's article offered positive coverage of Dynegy (NYSE: DYN) as a possible beneficiary of higher demand for electric power.

Overnight gains in the Asian markets boosted China Life Insurance (NYSE: LFC) and other large cap companies.

Drug maker Schering-Plough (NYSE: SGP) received FDA approval for the use of its daily asthma inhaler on children ages 4 to 11.  Asmanex is already approved at a higher dose for older children and adults.

On the downside

Health insurer Humana (NYSE: HUM) posted higher earnings, but revenue results missed expectations.  Average premiums rose, but membership in the company's standalone Medicare prescription plans declined slightly from year-ago levels.

Analysts reassessed the financial services sector and lowered their opinions of credit card services providers.  Shares of American Express (NYSE: AXP) and Discover Financial (NYSE: DFS) fell in early trading.

Charming Shoppes (Nasdaq: CHRS) issued a statement about the fatal shootings at its Tinley Park, Illinois Lane Bryant store and offered a reward.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 3 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 7 ponts to 723.

Closing Bell Report

|

Despite a contraction in the labor force, the markets soared to close higher on Microsoft's $44.6 billion offer to purchase Yahoo.  The Dow climbed 93 points to 12,743 while Nasdaq surged 24 points to 2413.

On the upside

Infinera (Nasdaq: INFN) narrowed fourth quarter losses as sales surged.

Starent Networks (Nasdaq: STAR) swung to a profit for the fourth quarter to beat expectations as revenue more than doubled.

Although Sealy (NYSE: ZZ) posted lower fourth quarter earnings, the results beat estimates.

On the downside

Actuate (Nasdaq: ACTU) reported higher fourth quarter revenue and earnings but the stock price tumbled.

Fourth quarter earnings surged for Omnicell (Nasdaq: OMCL) but the company's product order backlog fell.

Agilysys (Nasdaq: AGYS) blamed acquisition related expenses for third quarter earnings that plummeted.  The disappointing results prompted the information technology services provider to slash its earnings guidance.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 4 to 12 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 17 points to 730.

Mid-Day Report

|

The markets traded mixed during the midday as the civilian labor force contracted in January.  The Dow rose 21 points to 12,671 while Nasdaq lost 2 points to 2388.

On the upside

Fourth quarter earnings for Altera (Nasdaq: ALTR) slipped due to higher costs but the results beat expectations and the chipmaker forecast first quarter results above estimates.

Intuitive Surgical (Nasdaq: ISRG) reported fourth quarter earnings that more than doubled to surpass expectations as sales rose.

CSK Auto (NYSE: CAO) received a purchase offer of approximately $350 million in stock from rival O'Reilly Automotive (Nasdaq: ORLY).

On the downside

Although Avid Technology (Nasdaq: AVID) reversed year ago losses, the company reported fourth quarter results below estimates and warned that 2008 would be a difficult year.

Fourth quarter earnings for Millipore (NYSE: MIL) rose but revenue fell short of expectations.

Digital River (Nasdaq: DRIV) reported higher fourth quarter earnings but the e-commerce software company provided first quarter guidance well below estimates.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by 7 to 5 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose 7 points to 720.

Opening Bell Report

|

The markets opened higher after Microsoft made an offer to buy Yahoo.  The Dow rose 48 points to 12,698 while Nasdaq surged 20 points to 2409.

On the upside

Shares of Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) surged after Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) made an unsolicited offer of $44.6 billion to buy the largest Internet portal whose shares had recently fallen to a four-year low.

Several large U.S. and international banks were reportedly working to boost bond insurers like Ambac Financial Group (NYSE: ABK) and MBIA (NYSE: MBI).

Management software company CA (NYSE: CA) posted higher 3rd quarter profits that beat estimates and raised its full-year outlook.

On the downside

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) posted higher revenues and earnings that narrowly missed expectations as expenses continued to increase.  The search engine company's bid on wireless spectrum added more uncertainty to its outlook.

Callaway Golf (NYSE: ELY), a maker of high-end golf clubs, posted a wider 4th quarter loss due to fewer new product launches and lower domestic sales.

Outdoor apparel retailer Columbia Sportswear (Nasdaq: COLM) reported higher 4th quarter profits that beat estimates due to a lower tax rate, but the company lowered its outlook.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks leaped 14 points to 727.

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