March 2008 Archives

Closing Bell Report

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Falling oil prices along with an overhaul of the nation's financial regulatory system lifted the markets to a higher close with the Dow gaining 46 points to 12,263.  Nasdaq climbed 18 points to 2279.

On the upside

The Illinois Appellate court affirmed a ruling by the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois that bars Sprint from owning, operating and managing its Nextel network in iPCS Wireless' (Nasdaq: IPCS) territory.

Generic drug maker Bentley Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: BNT) will be acquired by Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: TEVA) for $360 million in cash.

On the first day of Giant Interactive Group's (NYSE: GA) open beta testing of its new game "Giant Online" the online gaming company reported 237,686 peak concurrent users.

On the downside

VCG Holding (Nasdaq: VCGH) received its license for the acquisition of the adult nightclub Jaguar's Gold and expects to complete the acquisition on April 14, 2008.

Pall (NYSE: PLL) forecast full year results below analyst estimates.

Thornburg Mortgage (NYSE: TMA) received another extension to raise $948 million.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by more than 7 to 5 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 5 points to 688.

Mid-Day Report

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The markets traded higher during the midday after the federal government announced an overhaul of the nation's financial regulatory system.  The Dow soared 99 points to 12,315 while Nasdaq jumped 26 points to 2287.

On the upside

Ansys (Nasdaq: ANSS) will purchase Ansoft (Nasdaq: ANST) in a cash and stock deal valued at approximately $832 million.

Rowan (NYSE: RDC) will either sell or spin-off its LeTourneau Technologies unit.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: VRTX) reported positive results in a midstage clinical trial of its cystic fibrosis treatment VX-770 last week.

On the downside

Shares of FairPoint Communications (NYSE: FRP) tumbled after the company completed its acquistion of Verizon's landline business and Internet operations in New England.

Piper Jaffray analyst Charles J. Fishman downgraded Gushan Environmental Energy (NYSE: GU) over valuation concerns.

Ampex (Nasdaq: AMPX) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by nearly the same on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks climbed 9 points to 693.

Opening Bell Report

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The major indexes opened mostly lower as investors awaited the government's plan to overhaul the financial services industry.  The Dow slipped 2 points to 12,214 while Nasdaq lost 4 points to 2258.

On the upside

Fortune Brands (NYSE: FO) announced a buyback of up to 15 million shares.  Meanwhile, its CEO commented on the possibility of buying the Absolut vodka business "at the right price."  However, it appears that a French distiller may be in the lead for that acquisition.

Oil drilling contractor Noble Corp. (NYSE: NE) signed contracts worth up to $4 billion over 29 years with Brazilian state oil company Petrobras covering 5 deepwater rigs.

Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) was identified as the brand with the strongest impact on the world's consumers, according to a poll by brandchannel.com.

On the downside

Shares of Merck (NYSE: MRK) and Schering-Plough (NYSE: SGP) tumbled on reports that the companies' joint anti-cholestrol drug may be ineffective.

Citigroup (NYSE: C) announced plans to split its consumer banking unit from its credit card business.

Egg producer Cal-Maine Foods (Nasdaq: CALM) posted sharply higher revenues and earnings due to soaring egg prices and high demand.  Investors decided to take profits on the stock as it neared an all-time record high.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks edged up a point to 684.

Closing Bell Report

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Weak consumer spending sent the markets tumbling to a lower close with the Dow falling 86 points to 12,216.  Nasdaq dropped 20 points to 2261.

On the upside

Oi Participacoes (NYSE: TNE), formerly known as Telemar, will acquire rival Brasil Telecom (NYSE: BRP) in a deal valued between $2.5 billion to $3.04 billion.

Kopin (Nasdaq: KOPN) reversed year ago losses as revenue surged.

Lehman Bros. analyst Michael Branca upgraded Cott (NYSE: COT) citing the low stock price and expectations that the company will conduct a strategic review.

On the downside

Piper Jaffray analyst downgraded Oplink Communications (Nasdaq: OPLK) after the company forecast third quarter results below estimates.

Usana Health Sciences (Nasdaq: USNA) blamed disappointing sales for slashing both its first quarter as well as its full year outlook.

Idearc (NYSE: IAR) announced that it will no longer pay dividends while Goldman Sachs analyst Peter M. Salkowski lowered his 2008 earnings guidance for the phone directory publisher.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on both the NYSE on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks dropped 9 points to 683.

Mid-Day Report

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A surprising gain in personal income lifted the markets higher during the midday with the Dow climbing 49 points to 12,351.  Nasdaq gained 13 points to 2294.

On the upside

BioMimetic (Nasdaq: BMTI) disputed the study cited by the Food and Drug Administration which reported a higher cancer risk in patients applying the chronic diabetic foot ulcer treatment Regranex.

Norsk Hydro purchased 2.3 million more shares of Ascent Solar Technologies (Nasdaq: ASTI) to increase its stake in the company to 35%.

Although Xyratex (Nasdaq: XRTX) swung to a first quarter loss, revenue beat estimates and the company forecast second quarter sales ahead of expectations.

On the downside

Apollo Group (Nasdaq: APOL) reported lower than expected second quarter earnings as expenses rose prompting an analyst to lower his price target on the for-profit educator.

Maguire Properties (NYSE: MPG) said that it is no longer exploring the sale of the company prompting a downgrade.

The weakest gain in consumer spending in 17 months weighed down shares of commercial bank National City (NYSE: NCC).

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 9 to 7 on the NYSE while decliners barely edged out adancers on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks edged up a fraction to 693.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened higher as investors focused on February's inflation numbers which were relatively tame when excluding the volatile energy and food components.   The Dow rose 30 points to 12,332 while Nasdaq added 2291.

On the upside

Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) reported higher profits.  Analysts promptly upgraded the software distributor.

The Finish Line (Nasdaq: FINL) posted a loss that beat expectations as the footwear retailer tackled slower consumer demand.

Shares of Tessera Technologies (Nasdaq: TSRA) soared after the International Trade Commissions overruled a court's decision to stay a wireless patent case against rivals.

On the downside

Despite a court order, the banks behind the private equity firms that offered to buy Clear Channel Communications (NYSE: CCU) may not be able to provide financing, according to the company's regulatory filings.

J.C. Penney  (NYSE: JCP) warned that profits may suffer as consumers reduce spending.

KB Home (NYSE: KBH) posted another loss as the homebuilder took a large write-down to account for falling home prices.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 4 to 3 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 4 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks edged up a fraction to 692.

Closing Bell Report

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Disappointingly slow growth in the fourth quarter of 2007 sent the markets tumbling to close sharply lower with the Dow plunging 120 points to 12,302.  Nasdaq plummeted 44 points to 2281.

On the upside

Third quarter earnings surged for ConAgra (NYSE: CAG) to surpass estimates prompting the company to raise its full year outlook.

Movado (NYSE: MOV) attributed higher fourth quarter earnings to a special one-time tax gain and growth in its international business.

Citi Trends (NYSE: CTRN) reported higher fourth quarter earnings that beat expectations and forecast 2008 results ahead of estimates.

On the downside

An analyst downgraded Microtune (Nasdaq: TUNE) after the company filed a complaint with the National Telecomunnications and Information Administration alleging that chips made by competitors failed to meet performance requirements established by the regulatory agency.

Second quarter earnings for Robbins & Myers (NYSE: RBN) rose as sales surged but some analysts expected higher income. 

Shares of MEMC Electronic Materials (NYSE: WFR) plunged after a competitor signed a contract to provide the solar market with lower quality silicon.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 5 to 3 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks dropped 10 points to 692.

Mid-Day Report

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The markets traded lower during the midday over a modest 0.6% economic growth during the fourth quarter of 2007.  The Dow dropped 71 points to 12,352 while Nasdaq tumbed 28 points to 2296.

On the upside

Fourth quarter earnings for Solarfun Power Holdings (Nasdaq: SOLF) rose as demand climbed and margins improved.

Speculation that National City (NYSE: NCC) may sell itself lifted shares of the bank.

MF Global (NYSE: MF) ended its exclusive clearing agreement with Man Group which now frees $800 million in capital.

On the downside

Huron Consulting (Nasdaq: HURN) blamed a disappointing financial consulting business for slashing its first quarter outlook.

Fourth quarter earnings plunged for DSW (NYSE: DSW) to fall short of expectations as same store sales tumbled. 

Shares of Western Digital (NYSE: WDC) tumbled after Baird analyst Jayson Noland said that the hard drive industry faces difficult conditions as prices fall.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 3 on the NYSE, but were edged out on Nasdaq by nearly 9 to 7.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped 3 points to 699.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened mixed as investors mulled over the latest batch of mixed economic data.  A disappointing profit report from Oracle weighed down the software sector.  The Dow rose 33 points to 12,456 while Nasdaq lost 15 points to 2309.

On the upside

Shares of Clear Channel Communications (NYSE: CCU) rose after a Texas judge ordered hesitant banks to fulfill their obligations to complete the proposed $19.5 billion buyout of the nation's biggest radio station operator by private equity firms.

Homebuilder Lennar Corp. (NYSE: LEN) posted another loss amid the weak housing market.  However, the results were better than expected.

ConAgra Foods (NYSE: CAG) posted higher earnings as revenues surged.  The food maker also boosted its outlook for the year.

On the downside

Preliminary reports on click-thru rates for online ads revealed another flat month for Google (Nasdaq: GOOG).

Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) posted earnings that met expectations, but top-line revenue totals concerned analysts. 

Children's book publisher Scholastic (Nasdaq: SCHL) posted a wider 3rd quarter loss due to one-time charges related to discontinued operations.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE, but were narrowly edged out on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 2 points to 699.

Closing Bell Report

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The markets closed lower as weak economic data kept buyers on the sidelines.  The Dow lost 109 points to close at 12,422 while Nasdaq finished the session at 2324, down 16 points.

On the upside

Rambus (Nasdaq: RMBS) won a memory chip against Micron Technologies (NYSE: MU) which promised to appeal.

Shares of consulting firm Watson Wyatt Worldwide (NYSE: WW) climbed following an upgrade by a UBS analyst due to its ability to counter the economic slowdown with longer technology contracts.

Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE: ANR) was one of the beneficiaries of higher coal prices.  The coal-producing sector was upgraded by a Goldman Sachs analyst.

On the downside

Shares of Pier 1 Imports (NYSE: PIR) lost ground after an analyst lowered his outlook for the home-furnishing retailer.

Industrial pipelines maker Ameron International (NYSE: AMN) posted higher earnings, but the results fell short of estimates.

Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) posted higher revenues and earnings, but sales missed expectations.  Shares of the software company sold off in afterhour trading.

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

Mid-Day Report

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The markets treaded lower levels as investors mulled over falling new home sales prices and higher oil prices.  The Dow fell nearly 100 points to 12,432 while Nasdaq gave up 16 points to 2324.

On the upside

Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) were among the gainers as crude oil inventories held steady last week.

Shares of Brazilian mining company Vale (NYSE: RIO) rose after talks to acquire a rival ended inconclusively.

Bear Stearns (NYSE: BSC) was the target of a congressional probe to determine the role of the government in the buyout and the risk to taxpayers.


On the downside

Dow Jones component Citigroup (NYSE: C) lagged along with the rest of the financial services sector.  An analyst lowered profit estimates for the banking giant.

Shares of American Express (NYSE: AXP) eased after an analyst pointed out a marked deterioration in credit quality.

BlackRock (NYSE: BLK) partnered with Highfields Capital Management to launch a new company to acquire and restructure distressed mortgages.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by 2 to 1on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks fell 3 points to 702.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets drifted lower after the government's February durable goods report showed a second straight month of declines.  The Dow lost 89 points to 12,442 while Nasdaq dropped 19 points to 2321.

On the upside

Motorola (NYSE: MOT) announced plans to spin off its handset business into another publicly-traded company, a move long sought by shareholder activists.

Shares of Clearwire (Nasdaq: CLWR) rose on reports that the company may be selected to run a new wireless venture funded by Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) and Time Warner (NYSE: TWC).

Ceragon Networks (Nasdaq: CRNT) is launching a new carrier-grade wireless Ethernet platform at an upcoming trade show.  The stock rose in heavy trading.

On the downside

Efforts by private equity firms to raise $19.5 billion for the buyout of Clear Channel Communications (NYSE: CCU) was reportedly on the verge of being called off.  The stock promptly lost 15% of its value.

Electronic parts manufacturer Jabil Circuit (NYSE: JBL) posted a 2nd quarter loss while lowering its guidance.  Analysts promptly downgraded the stock.

Shares of Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS) slipped after it was officially rebuffed by rival game maker Take-Two (Nasdaq: TTWO) over a too-low $2 billion takeover bid.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by 2 to 1on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks dropped 6 points to 698.

Closing Bell Report

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The markets closed mixed as consumer confidence tumbled and home prices fell.  The Dow lost 16 points to 12,533 while Nasdaq rose 14 points to 2341.

On the upside

Origin Agritech (Nasdaq: SEED) narrowed first quarter losses as revenue rose.

Lazard Capital Markets analyst Sanjay Shrestha upgraded Canadian Solar (Nasdaq: CSIQ) saying that the company's flexible sourcing model will act as a buffer between supply and demand imbalances.

Despite two downgrades by Standard & Poor's, shares of ExpressJet (NYSE: XJT) rose.

On the downside

Emcore (Nasdaq: EMKR) director Thomas Russell purchased 190,800 shares of common stock.

MGIC Investment (Nasdaq: MTG) will raise $420 million through the sale of 37.3 million shares of common stock.

The Wall Street Journal reported that private equity firms Thomas H. Lee and Bain Capital may not go through with their purchase of Clear Channel Communications (NYSE: CCU).

In the broad market, adancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 4 points to 705.

Mid-Day Report

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The markets traded mixed during the midday as falling oil prices tempered a sharp drop in consumer confidence.  The Dow lost 11 points to 12,538 while Nasdaq gained 8 points to 2335.

On the upside

South Korean company DC Chemical will supply Suntech Power Holdings (NYSE: STP) with polysilicon in an eight year agreement.

Recessionary fears boosted gold prices to lift shares of Kinross Gold (NYSE: KGC) higher.

Shares of Arch Coal (NYSE: ACI) rose after Friedman Billings Ramsey analyst David Khani issued a research note saying that coal exports are expected to surge 300%.

On the downside

Accentia's (Nasdaq: ABPI) late stage clinical trial of its chronic sinusitis treatment SinuNase failed to meet study goals.

SiRF Technology Holdings (Nasdaq: SIRF) blamed the weak economy for cutting its first quarter outlook and eliminating 7% of its positions.

Biovail (NYSE: BVF) must pay a $10 million fine to settle Securities and Exchange Commission charges of accounting fraud.

In the broad market, adancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 3 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 9 to 7 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a point to 702.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets drifted lower following news of U.S. home prices falling 11.4% in January.  The Dow lost 83 points to 12,465 while Nasdaq fell 8 points to 2317.

On the upside

Agriculture chemicals company Monsato (NYSE: MON) boosted its full-year outlook.

Shares of mortgage lender and investor Thornburg Mortgage (NYSE: TMA) rallied after announcing a raise of $1.35 billion through a private-placement deal to keep the company afloat and to avoid bankruptcy.

Shares of Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) edged higher after an analyst predicted a sweetened offer from Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT).

On the downside

The Justice Department approved Sirius (Nasdaq: SIRI) $5 billion buyout of XM (Nasdaq: XMSR) on Monday, but investors remained cautious about an FCC approval.

Analysts downgraded their opinions of Merrill Lynch & Co (NYSE: MER) and lowered their earnings forecasts for the investment banker.

MGIC Investment (NYSE: MTG) announced plans to sell more convertible debt into the private market.  The nation's largest mortgage insurer to offer $420 million in stock.

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

Closing Bell Report

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JPMorgan increased its offer for Bear Stearns boosting the markets to a sharply higher close with the Dow soaring 187 points to 12,549.  Nasdaq leaped 69 points to 2327.

On the upside

Smart Modular Technologies (Nasdaq: SMOD) blamed pricing pressures and product delays for lower second quarter earnings.  The memory chip maker also warned of weakness in the third quarter but the stock price rose.

Fairfax Financial Holdings (NYSE: FFH) will invest $350 million in AbitibiBowater (NYSE: ABH).

Digimarc (Nasdaq: DMRC) will sell its ID systems business to L-1 Identity Solutions (NYSE: ID) in a cash and stock deal valued at approximately $250 million.

On the downside

UCB Group recalled its Parkinson's treatment patch Neupro which contains Cambrex's (NYSE: CBM) ingredient rotigotine.

RF Monolithics (NYSE: RFMI) narrowed second quarter losses but the stock price plummeted.

Deutsche Bank North America analyst David Clark lowered his price target for Media General (NYSE: MEG) after the company forecast first quarter results below estimates.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 3 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 20 points to 701.

Mid-Day Report

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The markets surged during the midday after JPMorgan upped its bid for Bear Stearns.  The Dow leaped 213 points to 12,574 while Nasdaq jumped 66 points to 2324.

On the upside

Shares of Synplicity (Nasdaq: SYN) surged after announcing that Synopsys (Nasdaq: SNPS) will purchase the software company for approximately $227 million.

CIT Group (NYSE: CIT) stock soared on news that JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM) upped its bid for Bear Stearns (NYSE: BSC) to $10 per share from $2 per share.

Borders Group (NYSE: BGP) retained the services of JPMorgan and Merrill Lynch to explore the possible sale of the  company.

On the downside

In order to increase its liquidity, Aircastle (NYSE: AYR) cut its quarterly dividend.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced lower reimbursements for diabetic supplies sending shares of Medco Health Solutions (NYSE: MHS) tumbling.

Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) reported higher delinquencies in their single family home business in January.

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 surged 23 points to 704.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened higher on hopes of a stabilizing financial services sector.  The Dow surged more than 100 points to 12,450 while Nasdaq leaped 30 points to 2293.

On the upside

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) boosted its bid for Bear Stearns (NYSE: BSC) to $10 a share in order to ward off any potential competitive bid and to allay criticism from Bear Stearns employees that own nearly one-third of the company.  The stock immediately surged past $11 a share.

Shares of InterDigital (Nasdaq: IDCC) surged on reports that it was in settlement talks with Nokia (NYSE: NOK) over several disputed patents.

1 Identity Solutions Inc (NYSE: ID) offered $250 million in cash and stock to acquire the ID systems business from Digimarc Corp (Nasdaq: DMRC).

On the downside

Lehman Brothers (NYSE: LEH) were one of the few holdouts in the financial services sector to trade lower this morning.

Cambrex (NYSE: CBM) was downgraded by an analyst.  The company provides drug development services.

Shares of PC Mall (Nasdaq: MALL) tumbled after surging during the last hour of trading on Thursday, the day before the market closed for Good Friday.  There were no apparent reasons for the volatility.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 1 on the NYSE and by 3 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 15 points to 696.

Holiday Report

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U.S. markets are closed for the Good Friday holiday.

A judge ordered Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX) to refill the tip jar with $87 million plus interest.   A judge determined that baristas were unfairly sharing their tips with shift supervisors who should have been bonused directly by the company.

AT&T (NYSE: T) will remit $1.3 billion to the FCC as a down payment for the wireless spectrum licenses won in the recent auction.

Closing Bell Report

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Investors embraced easing oil prices and snapped up bargains to lift the markets sharply higher with the Dow leaping 262 points to 12,361.  Nasdaq soared 48 points to 2258.

On the upside

AbitibiBowater (NYSE: ABH) restructured $496 million in debt securities.

Shares of Visa (NYSE: V) continued to soar a day after its initial public offering.

PNM Resources (NYSE: PNM) responded to the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission's rate recommendation with an accusation that the regulators failed to consider the financial health of PNM while incorrectly assessing the capacity of certain plants.

On the downside

While MedAssets (Nasdaq: MDAS) reported fourth quarter earnings ahead of expectations, the company forecast 2008 results below estimates.

In order to repay debt, CIT Group (NYSE: CIT) borrowed $7.3 billion through credit lines and is looking for new sources of funding.

Flotek Industries (NYSE: FTK) reported higher fiscal 2007 results but the stock price fell.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 8 to 3 on the NYSE and by 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 17 points to 681.

Mid-Day Report

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Bargain hunters lifted the markets higher during  the midday with the Dow climbing 92 points to 12,191.  Nasdaq gained 11 points to 2221.

On the upside

Capital Corp. of the West (Nasdaq: CCOW) formed a Regulatory Oversight Committee and has retained the services of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods to strengthen its capital position and explore strategic alternatives to improve shareholder value.

Neurogen (Nasdaq: NRGN) narrowed fourth quarter losses.

Although Shoe Carnival (Nasdaq: SCVL) blamed lower sales for a sharp drop in fourth quarter earnings, the results surpassed estimates.

On the downside

After Epix Pharmaceuticals' (Nasdaq: EPIX) depression treatment PRX-00023 failed a midstage clinical trial, the biopharmaceutical halted development of the drug.

Second quarter earnings for Winnebago Industries (Nasdaq: WGO) plunged as sales dropped.  The recreational vehicle maker also announced the elimination of 300 jobs.

Public Service Enterprise Group (Nasdaq: PEG) forecast earnings for 2008 as well as 2009 below analyst estimates.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 4 to 3 on the NYSE and by nearly 8 to 5 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks soared 10 points to 674.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened higher as oil prices pulled back below $100 a barrel.  The Dow rose 80 points to 12,190 while Nasdaq added 12 points to 2222.

On the upside

Dow component General Electric (NYSE: GE) was upgraded by analysts.

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT) hit a new 52-week high due to a consumer product line-up compatible with a slowing economy.

Retail bookstore chain Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) reported lower 4th quarter profits and revenues, but went ahead with an increase in its quarterly cash dividend.  Meanwhile, rival Borders Group (NYSE: BGP) announced that it was putting itself up for sale.

On the downside

FedEx (NYSE: FDX) reported a slight decline in profits as higher oil prices cut into margins.  Management warned about a challenging economic environment through the rest of the year.

Shares of Public Service Enterprise Group (NYSE: PEG) fell despite offering a very robust outlook.  The utility distributes electric energy and natural gas in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic U.S.

Quixote Corporation (Nasdaq: QUIX) expected flat sales versus year-ago levels as poor weather affected purchases of its highway equipment.

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 rose 6 points to 670.

Closing Bell Report

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Despite better than expected earnings at Morgan Stanley, the markets pulled back in afternoon trading to close sharply lower as fears of liquidity problems resurfaced.  The Dow plunged 293 points to 12,100 while Nasdaq plummeted 58 points to 2210. 

On the upside

Second quarter earnings for Lindsay (NYSE: LNN) more than tripled as revenue rose and margins improved.

Two of Xinhua Finance Media's (Nasdaq: XFML) finance television programs will now be seen on 80 channels throughout 24 of China's 31 provinces.

National City Corp. (NYSE: NCC) will record a $450 million cash gain from selling part of its stake in Visa (NYSE: V), which surged in its market debut today.

On the downside

Capital Corp. of the West (Nasdaq: CCOW) delayed filing its annual report after determining that certain loans required an adverse classification.

Centene (Nasdaq: CNC) warned that earnings will fall short due to unexpectedly high medical costs. The health insurer also announced an $80 million offer to purchase Celtic Group.

Shares of Monsanto (NYSE: MON) plunged after France's State Council upheld a government ban on genetically modified crop.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 7 to 3 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plummeted 18 points to 664. 

Mid-Day Report

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The markets traded modestly higher during the midday as Morgan Stanley beat estimates and high energy prices weakend demand for oil.  Dow Jones gained 23 points to 12,416 while Nasdaq rose 4 points to 2273. 

On the upside

Darden Restaurants (NYSE: DRI) reported higher third quarter earnings as sales at Olive Garden rose.

MF Global (NYSE: MF) issued a press release asserting that the company has approximately $1.4 billion in unused committed liquidity facilities and that rumors to the contrary are false.

Shares of Visa (NYSE: V) soared in its market debut.

On the downside

Although no new agreement has been submitted to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, 3Com (Nasdaq: COMS) will hold its shareholder meeting as planned to vote on the proposed $2.2 billion deal by Bain Capital Partners and Huawei Technologies to take 3Com private.

Internap Network Services (Nasdaq: INAP) applied for a filing extension for its annual report prompting a downgrade.

Thornburg Mortgage (NYSE: TMA) must raise nearly $1 billion in seven business days to avoid bankruptcy.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 4 to 3 on the NYSE and by nearly 9 to 7 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 3 points to 685. 

Opening Bell Report

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The major indexes opened higher following a three-quarter point rate cut by the Federal Reserve yesterday aimed at boosting the credit markets.  Dow Jones climbed 25 points to 12,418 while Nasdaq added 3 points to 2271. 

On the upside

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) posted lower revenues and profits, but beat expectations.  Robust commodity and currency trading results offset weaknesses in mortgage-related and bond market results.

Adobe Systems (Nasdaq: ADBE) posted higher revenues and earnings that topped estimates.  A strong outlook for 2008 boosted shares of the maker of Photoshop and Acrobat software.

The government planned to inject $200 billion into homebuyers by relaxing capital requirements at Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) and Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE).

On the downside

Shares of Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) fell after the credit card provider reported lower profits after recenlty selling off its UK operation.

An analyst downgraded online retail auction service Priceline (Nasdaq: PCLN) on valuation.

Monster Worldwide (Nasdaq: MNST) lowered its 1st quarter due to higher costs.  Analysts promptly downgraded the online career services company.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by 5 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 4 points to 686. 

Closing Bell Report

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The markets skyrocketed after the Federal Reserve announced a drastic three quarters of a percentage point cut to the federal funds rate from 3.00% to 2.25%.  The Dow jumped 420 points to 12,393 while Nasdaq leaped 91 points to 2268. 

On the upside

Ultrapetrol (Nasdaq: ULTR) will repurchase up to $50 million worth of common stock through September 30.

In response to a sharp decline in its stock price, MF Global (NYSE: MF) issued a statement yesterday asserting that the brokerage is very well capitalized and that Joe Lewis, an investor in Bear Stearns (NYSE: BSC) who lost billions in the JPMorgan buyout offer, is not a client of MF Global.

Analysts upgraded RiskMetrics Group (NYSE: RMG) saying that concerns about the company's business with Bear Stearns (NYSE: BSC) are overblown.

On the downside

Shuffle Master (Nasdaq: SHFL) blamed higher costs for swinging to a loss for the first quarter.

Gold futures tumbled over concerns that the Fed's rate cut will make gold less attractive to investors.  Shares of Yamana Gold (NYSE: AUY) and Goldcorp (NYSE: GG) dropped.

Canaccord Adams downgraded Dolby Laboratories (NYSE: DLB).

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 8 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 3 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks leaped 31 points to 682.

Mid-Day Report

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The markets surged during the midday in anticipation of another interest rate cut the by Fed.  The Dow jumped 268 points to 12,240 while Nasdaq leaped 55 points to 2232. 

On the upside

After its shares plummeted yesterday, FCStone Group (Nasdaq: FCSX) issued a statement affirming the soundness of the company and declaring that the risk management firm has no direct exposure to subprime mortgage backed securities.

Shares of Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) and Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) surged as the two government sponsored enterprised neared a deal with the government to raise more capital.

Standard & Poor's will replace MoneyGram International (NYSE: MGI) on the S&P MidCap 400 with Apollo Investment (Nasdaq: AINV).

On the downside

Nuvelo (Nasdaq: NUVO) ended drug trials of its blood thinner alfimeprase after the medication failed yet another study.  The biotechnology company will also eliminate forty jobs.

Xerium Technologies (NYSE: XRM) delayed filing its annual report.

The Food and Drug Administration cited safety concerns for stopping studies for Dynavax's (Nasdaq: DVAX) and Merck's (NYSE: MRK) hepatits vaccine Heplisav.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 8 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 3 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks leaped 20 points to 671.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened sharply higher with the Dow surging more than 200 points to 12,190 while Nasdaq leaped 38 points to 2215.  A better than expected report from Lehman Brothers boosted the financial services sector.

On the upside

Investment bank Lehman Brothers (NYSE: LEH) posted lower earnings, but the results handily beat expectations.  Investors had worried about its exposure to mortgage-related investments that took down Bear Stearns (NYSE: BSC).

Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE: GS) posted solid earnings due to strong asset management revenues.  Shares of the world's largest investment bank soared.

FactSet Research Systems (NYSE: FDS) reported higher 2nd quarter profits due to an increase in subscriptions.

On the downside

American Railcar Industries (Nasdaq: ARII) was downgraded by analysts.

Sunrise Senior Living (NYSE: SRZ) announced a one-time restatement that would lower income from 1996 to 2005.  The operator of retirement communities would take a $130 million hit.

Medical device maker Somanetics  (Nasdaq: SMTS) lowered its 2008 outlook due to slowing sales of its blood oxygen measurement device.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 8 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 3 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 14 points to 665.

Closing Bell Report

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The markets closed mixed despite JPMorgan's purchase of Bear Stearns at the surprisingly low price of $2 per share as the Federal Reserve agreed to allow investment firms access to emergency loans.  The Dow rose 21 points to 11,972 while Nasdaq plunged 35 points to 2177.

On the upside

CSX (NYSE: CSX) expects first quarter earnings to soar as much as 48%.

Captaris (Nasdaq: CAPA) will be acquired by private equity firm Vector Capital for approximately $127 million.

PacificNet (Nasdaq: PACT) expects to report at least $60 million in revenue for 2008.

On the downside

A rumor that Focus Media (Nasdaq: FMCN) lost its service provider license sent shares of the company tumbling.

Despite efforts to distance itself from MF Global (NYSE: MF), shares of securities clearing services provider Penson Worldwide (Nasdaq: PNSN) fell.

National City Corp. (NYSE: NCC) had been exploring strategic alternatives including the possible sale of itself to JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM) but that may no longer be an option after JPMorgan's purchase of Bear Stearns (NYSE: BSC).

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 7 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 7 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plunged 15 points to 648.

Mid-Day Report

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JPMorgan's purchase of Bear Stearns at a fraction of its closing price on Friday sparked a collapse of the financial services sector sending the markets tumbling during the midday with the Dow dropping 80 ponts to 11,871.  Nasdaq plunged 41 points to 2172.

On the upside

BladeLogic (Nasdaq: BLOG), which went public less than a year ago, agreed to be acquired by BMC Software (NYSE: BMC) for approximately $800 million.

Patients using QLT's (Nasdaq: QLTI) acne treatment Aczone will no longer need to be monitored by blood conditions such as anemia.

FTN Midwest upgraded Callaway Golf (NYSE: ELY).

On the downside

Shares of brokerage firm MF Global (NYSE: MF) lost more than half their value as the entire financial sector reeled from JPMorgan's (NYSE: JPM) purchase of Bear Stearns (NYSE: BSC) at the bargain price of $2 per share.

Moody's Investors Service downgraded its ratings outlook for Lehman Bros. (NYSE: LEH) while Southeast Asian bank DBS Group advised its traders not to conduct business with Lehman Bros.

Tempur-Pedic (NYSE: TPX) blamed the economic downturn for withdrawing its earnings guidance for the year and warning that first quarter results will disappoint.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 7 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 7 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plunged 15 points to 648.

Opening Bell Report

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Stunned by the collapse of Bear Stearns and its firesale to JPMorgan, investors sold off on financial-related stocks.  The overall market tumbled with the Dow losing 142 ponts to 11,808 while Nasdaq lost 36 points to 2175.

On the upside

Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross paid $1.1 billion to take over H&R Block's (NYSE: HRB) troubled Opton One mortage service business.  An offer by Cerberus Capital Management to buy the $53 billion mortgage origination had previously fallen through.

Cardiome Pharma (Nasdaq: CRME) reported positive clinical results for its oral drug treatment to regulate heart rhythm.

Arena Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ARNA) announced that its obesity drug treatment passed a review for cardiovascular safety.

On the downside

Shares of Bear Stearns (NYSE: BSC) tumbled 90% after JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) offered a handful of shares to buy out the beleaguered investment bank.

Washington Mutual (NYSE: WM) was downgraded by analysts following a downgrade by Moody's Investors Services.

KMG Chemicals (Nasdaq: KMGB) posted higher sales and income, but the maker of specialty chemicals expected flat to lower sales for the rest of the year.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 10 to 1 on the NYSE and by 7 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plunged 11 points to 652.

Closing Bell Report

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The bailout of Bear Stearns by JPMorgan and the Federal Reserve sparked fears that more bailouts will be necessary to stabilize the credit markets.  The Dow skidded 195 points to 11,951 while Nasdaq plummeted 51 points to 2212.

On the upside

A tax benefit along higher sales lifted fourth quarter earnings for SkillSoft (Nasdaq: SKIL) to surpass estimates.

Jefferies & Co. analyst David Windley upgraded WuXi Pharma Tech  (NYSE: WX) after the company reported fourth quarter earnings that more than tripled.

Hecla Mining (NYSE: HL) said that its acquistion of Greens Creek silver mine in Alaska will double its production of silver to 11 million ounces per year.

On the downside

While Ultrapetrol (Nasdaq: ULTR) reversed year ago losses to report a profit for the fourth quarter, the company's 2007 full year profit fell from last year.

Moody's Investors Service downgraded Washington Mutual's (NYSE: WM) credit rating saying that the company will need more than $12 billion to cover mortgage losses in 2008.

National City's (NYSE: NCC) credit rating was downgraded by Moody's Investors Services because the bank may suffer significant losses in its home equity, residential development and land loan portfolios.


In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 5 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 7 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plunged 17 points to 663.

Mid-Day Report

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Fears that the credit crisis will continue to worsen sent the markets tumbling during the midday with the Dow plunging 151 points to 11,995.  Nasdaq skidded 36 points to 2227.

On the upside

Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE: COG) announced positive results from drilling sites at County Line, Hinton and Moxa Arch.

HCP (NYSE: HCP) will sell some of its health care facilities to Medical Properties Trust (NYSE: MPW) for approxmately $371 million.

Quanta Capital Holdings (Nasdaq: QNTA) declared a special dividend of $1.75 per common share payable on March 28 to shareholders of record March 25.

On the downside

Credit Suisse initiated coverage of Anworth Mortgage Asset (NYSE: ANH) with a Neutral rating.

Lehman Brothers (NYSE: LEH) must pay more to insure its debt as credit concerns continue to plague the financial markets.

A Wall Street Journal article reported that Providence Equity, Wachovia and Clear Channel Communications (NYSE: CCU) are continuing month-long discussions to finalize the sale of television stations.


In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by 3 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plunged 11 points to 669.

Opening Bell Report

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Moderate inflation news boosted the markets at the opening bell to extend yesterday's rally.  The Dow rose 19 points to 12,165 while Nasdaq climbed 8 points to 2272.

On the upside

Sterling Construction Company (Nasdaq: STRL) posted profits that beat estimates due to favorable weather conditions for heavy construction in Nevada and Texas.

Shares of Exelixis (Nasdaq: EXEL) surged after its compound was selected by Genentech (NYSE: DNA) for further development.

An analyst raised his opinion of Zumiez (Nasdaq: ZUMZ) after the athletic clothing and accessories retailer posted higher earnings in the 4th quarter.

On the downside

Bear Stearns (NYSE: BSC) received a lifeline after getting a short-term funding commitment from JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

China-related industrials sold off with shares of China Petroleum and Chemical (NYSE: SNP) falling in early trading.

PowerSecure International (Nasdaq: POWR) reported record revenues and profits in the 4th quarter, but the power equipment maker set a new policy of not providing guidance going forward.


In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a point to 681.

Closing Bell Report

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While a majority of economists acknowledged that the economy is in a recession, the markets closed modestly higher as investors focused on Standard & Poor's prediction that asset writedowns are near an end.  The Dow rose 36 points to 12,146 while Nasdaq climbed 20 points to 2264.

On the upside

LDK Solar (NYSE: LDK) has sold nearly all of its solar wafer capacity for both 2008 and 2009.

Creditors of Cumulus Media (Nasdaq: CMLS) agreed to allow the radio station operator to merge with an investment group.

Fourth quarter earnings for JA Solar Holdings (NYSE: JASO) surged as revenue tripled while the company forecast 2008 revenue well ahead of estimates.

On the downside

Lower third quarter revenue for Handleman (NYSE: HDL) weighed down earnings.

Concerns that American International Group (NYSE: AIG) will experience greater than expected losses sent shares of the world's largest insurer lower.

Morgan Stanley issued Thornburg Mortgage (NYSE: TMA) a default notice after the mortgage lender failed to meet a $9 million margin call.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 4 to 3 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 12 points to 680.

Mid-Day Report

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The markets fell during the midday as foreclosures continued to soar.  The Dow tumbled 87 points to 12,023 while Nasdaq lost 12 points to 2232.

On the upside

Shares of Humana (NYSE: HUM) recovered after UBS upgraded the health insurer.

Genesco (NYSE: GCO) reported sharply lower fourth quarter earnings as sales dropped and the company incurred significant expenses from rival Finish Line's attempt to acquire Genesco.  The shoe and apparel retailer annouced plans to repurchase up to $100 million in common stock.

Three affiliates of Foundation Coal Holdings (NYSE: FCL) received awards for outstanding safety records.

On the downside

The results of a recent study indicated that Aspect Medical Systems' (Nasdaq: ASPM) monitoring device Bispectral Index was no more effective than previously available products.

Noven Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: NOVN) will delay filing its fourth quarter results and reported preliminary earnings that fell short of estimates prompting a downgrade.

While Virgin Mobile USA (NYSE: VM) narrowed fourth quarter losses, the results missed estimates.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by 9 to 7 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 2 points to 670.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened lower as oil prices surged above $110 a barrel.  The Dow lost 63 points to 12,046 while Nasdaq gave up 5 points to 2238.

On the upside

Air Methods (Nasdaq: AIRM) posted higher 4th quarter profits due to increased revenues from a recent acquisition and lower tax expenses.  Shares of the provider of emergency medical air transportation surged.

Shares of Take-Two (Nasdaq: TTWO) edged higher as Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS) planned a hostile $2 billion tender offer over its video game rival.

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) offered conservative guidance for the 1st quarter and the rest of the year, but remained mostly optimistic about its outlook.

On the downside

Shares of Bear Stearns (NYSE: BSC) slumped on news that Carlye Capital may soon lose all of its assets.  As one of Carlye's creditors, Bear Stearns may end up with more mortgage-related writedowns.

Sigma Designs (Nasdaq: SIGM) posted 4th quarter profits that missed targets.  Analysts promptly downgraded the chip maker.

Time Warner's AOL unit (NYSE: TWX) announced a $850 million deal to buy social network Bebo.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by 5 to 4 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 2 points to 666.

Closing Bell Report

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The markets pulled back from earlier gains to close lower as crude oil prices rose to settle at another record of $109.92 per barrel.  The Dow dropped 47 points to 12,110 while Nasdaq fell 12 points to 2244.

On the upside

China Digital TV Holdings (NYSE: STV) will use Intel's (Nasdaq: INTC) processor chips.

Fourth quarter earnings for Boston Beer (NYSE: SAM) more than doubled and the company forecast 2008 results ahead of expectations.

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. selected ESCO Technolgies' (NYSE: ESE) Aclara RF Systems to provide metering services in California's Central Valley region.

On the downside

Collective Brands (NYSE: PSS) swung to a loss for the fourth quarter.

J. P. Morgan analyst Jaime Baker downgraded seven airliners including AMR (NYSE: AMR), Northwest (NYSE: NWA) and Delta (NYSE: DAL) citing significant losses in a recession.

Tesors (NYSE: TSO) warned that refining margins in the West Coast will drop in 2008 prompting a downgrade.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 4 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks fell 7 points to 667.

Mid-Day Report

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Retreating oil prices along with the Fed's announcement yesterday to infuse the financial markets with $200 billion lifted the markets higher during the midday with the Dow gaining 89 points to 12,246.  Nasdaq climbed 16 points to 2271.

On the upside

Third Wave Technologies (Nasdaq: TWTI) reported positive results for its human papillomavirus test.

Bear Stearns analyst David Hochstim upgraded Thornburg Mortgage (NYSE: TMA) saying that the Fed's plan to pump $200 billion into the financial markets improves Thornburg's liquidity.

The Treasury Department approved Capital One's (NYSE: COF) request to open two new bank branches in Texas.

On the downside

Progenics Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: PGNX) and Wyeth (NYSE: WYE) reported that their constipation treatment methylnaltrexone failed a late stage drug trial.

DivX (Nasdaq: DIVX) blamed one time charges for sharply lower fourth quarter earnings and forecast first quarter as well as full year results below estimates.

Immucor's (Nasdaq: BLUD) $117 million cash acquisition of BioArray will result in a 20 cents per share charge beginning in 2009 and could continue for a few more years.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 3 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 5 points to 679.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened higher to extend yesterday's rally as investors snapped up stocks in the financial services sector.  The Dow climbed 70 points to 12,227 while Nasdaq rose 11 points to 2267.

On the upside

Teen clothing retailer American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE: AEO) posted lower 4th quarter profits, but reiterated guidance for the current quarter.

Talbots (NYSE: TLB) announced a 4th quarter loss, but the results were better than expected.  The women's apparel company's turnaround efforts appeared to be paying off due to store closures and inventory controls.

Hardwood flooring retailer Lumber Liquidators (NYSE: LL) reported higher earnings due to brisk sales of higher margin products.

On the downside

Health insurance provider Humana (NYSE: HUM) became the latest casualty in the industry to lower its earnings outlook due to higher prescription costs.

UPS (NYSE: UPS) warned that it may miss its 1st quarter forecast and planned to focus its courier business on overseas growth.

Telecommunications carrier Global Crossing (Nasdaq: GLBC) returned to profitability in the 4th quarter citing increased network sales to corporations, but investors sold off on the news.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners 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 held steady at 673.

Closing Bell Report

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The Federal Reserve's plan to infuse the financial markets with $200 billion lifted the markets to close sharply higher with the Dow leaping 417 points to 12,157.  Nasdaq jumped 86 points to 2256.

On the upside

Credit Suisse analyst Paul Lejuez upgraded Lululemon Athletica (Nasdaq: LULU) for its low stock price.

Shares of JA Solar Holdings (Nasdaq: JASO) surged as analysts lauded the solar products company for its silicon supply and named the company a "best-in-breed" manufacturer.  The company releases earnings tomorrow.

Piper Jaffray (NYSE: PJC) expects revenue in Asia to increase by 20% per year.

On the downside

A profit warning from WellPoint (NYSE: WLP) sent shares of rival managed healthcare company Coventry Health Care (NYSE: CVH) tumbling.

Shares of Cigna (NYSE: CI) plunged after rival health insurer WellPoint (NYSE: WLP) slashed its 2008 guidance.

Analysts cut their price target for MoneyGram International (NYSE: MGI) in half after the company agreed to grant an investment team a larger stake in the company at a lower price.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 3 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks leaped 30 points to 674.

Mid-Day Report

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The markets surged on news that the Federal Reserve will infuse the financial markets with $200 billion to alleviate the credit crisis.  The Dow leaped 259 points to 11,999 while Nasdaq jumped 50 points to 2219.

On the upside

Reports that either Warren Buffet or Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) will infuse Washington Mutual (NYSE: WM) with cash lifted shares of the troubled mortgage lender.

While fourth quarter earnings slipped for Stage Stores (NYSE: SSI) due to a quarter with one less week, the results topped expectations.

Although one time costs weighed down fourth quarter earnings for Global Sources (Nasdaq: GSOL), the results surpassed estimates.

On the downside

Despite higher revenue, fourth quarter earnings for Superior Well Services (Nasdaq: SWSI) tumbled to fall far short of estimate due to pricing pressures and shutdowns that were longer than expected.

Spartech (NYSE: SEH) swung to a loss for the first quarter as sales dropped.

Build-A-Bear Workshop (NYSE: BBW) increased its share repurchase plan from $25 million to $50 million.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 15 points to 659.

Opening Bell Report

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The major indexes opened sharply higher after the Federal Reserve announed plans to pump $200 billion into the credit market.   The Dow soared 226 points to 11,966 while Nasdaq leaped 46 points to 2216.

On the upside

The financial services sector rallied on hopes that government intervention may stabilize the mortgage industry.  Shares of Citigroup (NYSE: C) and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) rose.

Financial advisory firm Duff & Phelps (NYSE: DUF) posted higher revenues and a loss that still beat estimates.

Shares of Commercial Vehicle Group (Nasdaq: CVGI) climbed after an analyst raaised his opinion on the truck parts supplier.

On the downside

Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN) lowered its 1st quarter outlook following order cuts from a key customer.  Analysts promptly downgraded the stock.


Health insurance provider WellPoint (NYSE: WLP) lowered its 2008 profit outlook.  Its stock promptly tumbled on heavy volume along with shares of rivals Aetna (NYSE: AET), Humana (NYSE: HUM) and UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH).

Shares of soda maker Jones Soda (Nasdaq: JSDA) sagged after the company posted a sharp drop in revenues and a loss citing higher slotting fees to place its products on shelves.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 1 on the NYSE and by 3 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 17 points to 661.

Closing Bell Report

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The markets plunged to close sharply lower as crude oil prices soared to close at a record $107.90 a barrel while a series of downgrades weighed on the mortgage sector.  Dow plummeted 154 points to 11,740 while Nasdaq skidded 43 points to 2169.

On the upside

Iomega (NYSE: IOM) rejected an unsolicited $178.1 million takeover offer by EMC (NYSE: EMC) saying that Iomega's current merger deal with ExcelStor was a better deal.

MoneyGram International (NYSE: MGI) will offer an investment team a larger stake in the company at a better price.

Roth Capital upgraded Art Technology Group (Nasdaq: ARTG).

On the downside

Shares of Ambac Financial (NYSE: ABK) tumbled over concerns that the sale of shares to raise $1.5 billion last week diluted current investors' holdings.

Converted Organics (Nasdaq: COIN) announced that more than a third of outstanding Class A public warrants have been converted to stock at $8.25 per warrant with each warrant converted into 1.2155 shares of common stock.

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey downgraded Somanetics (Nasdaq: SMTS).

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 5 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 7 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plunged 16 points to 644.

Mid-Day Report

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Surging oil prices weighed down the markets during the midday with the Dow falling 72 points to 11,822.  Nasdaq tumbled 20 points to 2192.

On the upside

Alesco Financial (NYSE: AFN) declared a regular quarterly dividend of 25 cents per comon share payable on April 10, 2008 to shareholders of record on March 20, 2008.

Goldman Sachs analyst Randall Stanicky upgraded Medco Health Solutions (NYSE: MHS) saying that the stock has dropped down to a better price.

The Quebec Superior Court approved BCE's (NYSE: BCE) privatization plans and dismissed all lawsuits filed by debenture holders.

On the downside

Keryx Biopharmaceuticals' (Nasdaq: KERX) diabetes medications Sulonex failed a Phase III clinical trial prompting a series of downgrades.

CRA International (Nasdaq: CRAI) disappointed with preliminary first quarter earnings well below estimates and withdrew its full year outlook as the business consultant's international utilization rate dropped.

A Barron's article suggested that the government may have to bailout Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) if the credit crisis continues to worsen.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 7 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks dropped 10 points to 650.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened lower as investors continued to wrestle with more troubling news from the financial services sector.  The Dow slipped 10 points to 11,885 while Nasdaq gave up 2 points to 1291.

On the upside

Nationwide Financial Services (NYSE: NFS) announced that it has received all-cash deal to be acquired by its parent company Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.

Tessera Technologies (Nasdaq: TSRA) announced a court date in its efforts to win back its chip design patents and to pursue Amkor's failure to pay royalties.

Shares of Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SPPI) surged after the FDA approved its bone cancer drug treatment last Friday.

On the downside

Countrywide (NYSE: CFC) was the target of FBI probes into securities fraud, according to media reports.

Analysts downgraded Thornburg Mortgage (NYSE: TMA) following last Friday's announcement that the lender would restate its financials due to impairment losses on assets.

Shares of Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) lost ground after a Barron's report over the weekend suggested the stock may lose another 20% in the short term.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 4 on the NYSE and by nearly 4 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped a fraction to 659.

Closing Bell Report

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Sharply higher job losses last month along with greater borrowing by consumers sparked recessionary fears to send the markets tumbling with the Dow plummeting 147 points to close at 11,894.  Nasdaq lost 8 points to 2212.

On the upside

Jon Najarian of OptionMonster.com recommended InterDigital (Nasdaq: IDCC) as an attractive stock.

Ambac Financial (NYSE: ABK) sold 171 shares of common stock, 14 million private placement shares and 5 million equity units to raise $1.5 billion to protect its credit rating.

Thornburg (NYSE: TMA) restated its 2007 results to a wider loss of $10.94 per share from the previously reported $7.48 per share.

On the downside

The antitrust division of the U. S. Department of Justice searched Reddy Ice Holdings' (Nasdaq: FRZ) headquarters in Dallas prompting downgrades.

French environmental management services firm Veolia Environnement (NYSE: VE) reported higher 2007 earnings but the results fell short of estimates.

Steel producer ArcelorMittal (NYSE: MT) agreed to invest $50 million in Noble International (Nasdaq: NOBL) if founder and chairman Robert Skandalaris sells his interest in the company to ArcelorMittal and steps aside as chairman.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 3 points to 660.

Mid-Day Report

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Increased job losses weighed down the markets during the midday with the Dow plummeting 119 points to 11,921.  Nasdaq lost 10 points to 2211.

On the upside

iStar Financial (NYSE: SFI) declared a regular quarterly dividend of 87 cents per common share payable on April 30, 2008 to shareholders of record March 17, 2008.

AbitibiBowater (NYSE: ABH) announced a $1.4 billion refinancing plan through the issuance of senior secured and non-secured notes.

While Quiksilver (NYSE: ZQK) swung to a loss for the first quarter, revenue surpassed estimates.

On the downside

AngioDynamics (Nasdaq: ANGO) warned that third quarter revenue will fall short of estimates despite increased sales.

Fourth quarter earnings edged up for Dynamic Materials (Nasdaq: BOOM) but the results fell shy of estimates while the company forecast disappointing first quarter profit.

New Mexico state regulators approved a rate increase that was a fraction of the $76.9 million requested by PNM Resources (NYSE: PNM).

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 3 to 2 on the NYSE and by more than 9 to 7 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks eased a fraction to 662.

Opening Bell Report

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Investors worried about the economy following a weak February employment report by the Labor Department.  The markets opened mostly lower with the Dow losing another 50 points to drop below 12,000 shortly after the opening bell.  Nasdaq slipped 3 points to 2216.

On the upside

Gun maker Smith & Wesson (Nasdaq: SWHC) posted a 3rd quarter loss versus year-ago profits due to higher costs.  The results beat analysts' expectations.

Shares of Ciena (Nasdaq: CIEN) rose after the communications equipment company posted profits that tripled and boosted its outlook for the year.

National Semiconductor (NYSE: NSM) posted lower profits that beat estimates as demand from handset makers rose.

On the downside

The financial services sector was under pressure as analysts warned of more margin calls at Carlye Capital.  Shares of Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) and IndyMac Bancorp (NYSE: IMB) lost ground.

PeopleSupport (Nasdaq: PSPT) posted higher profits and announced a stock buyback, but its shares tumbled after the business outsourcing company lowered its guidance for the 1st quarter.

Shares of DealerTrack (Nasdaq: TRAK) continued to slump after an analyst downgraded the technology provider for the automotive retail industry.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 4 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 3 points to 660.

Closing Bell Report

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Home foreclosures soared to a record high sending the markets tumbling to close sharply lower with the Dow plunging 215 points to 12,040.  Nasdaq plummeted 52 points to a 52-week low of 2221.

On the upside

Comtech Telecommunications (Nasdaq: CMTL) reported higher second quarter earnings that beat estimates and narrowed its 2008 revenue guidance.

Third quarter earnings for Flow International (Nasdaq: FLOW) nearly tripled to surpass expectations as sales surged.

Shares of Gold Fields (NYSE: GFI) rose after the South African government pledged to increase the output of electricity to meet the needs of mining companies.

On the downside

Analysts downgraded Zumiez (Nasdaq: ZUMZ) after the sports apparel and equipment retailer reported a disappointing 2.6% drop in same store sales.

Thornburg Mortgage (NYSE: TMA) received default notices after failing to meet a margin call from J. P. Morgan.  Investors fear the mortgage lender will file for bankruptcy.

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods analyst Sameer Gokhale downgraded CIT Group (NYSE: CIT) and cut his earnings expectations for the company in anticipation of a $179 million write-off for student loan defaults.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 8 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 4 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plummeted 21 points to 663.

Mid-Day Report

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Record home foreclosures sent the markets tumbling during the midday with the Dow plummeting 143 points to 12,112.  Nasdaq plunged 25 points to 2248.

On the upside

The American Cancer Society released new colorectal cancer screening guidelines that include Exact Sciences' (Nasdaq: EXAS) stool sample testing technology.

H&R Block (NYSE: HRB) narrowed third quarter losses as revenue rose and backed its full year guidance.

Shares of Tessera Technologies (Nasdaq: TSRA) rose after the company clarified that recent actions by an International Trade Commission judge did not overturn its patents.

On the downside

Omrix Biopharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: OMRI) blamed higher costs for fourth quarter earnings that plunged to fall far short of estimates.

Coldwater Creek (Nasdaq: CWTR) swung to a fourth quarter loss as foot traffic declined and the retailer held more clearance sales.  The company also warned of greater than expected losses for the first quarter.

Shares of mortgage REIT Annaly Capital Management (NYSE: NLY) plummeted on news that European mortgage-backed securities investment firm Carlyle Capital received a default notice for failing to meet margin calls.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks dropped 9 points to 674.

Opening Bell Report

|

The markets opened lower as oil prices surged to a new record high.  Meanwhile, retailers reported better than expected sales in February.  The Dow lost 61 points to 12,193 while Nasdaq slipped 3 points to 2269.

On the upside

Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) reported a 2.6% gain in February same-store sales versus year-ago levels.  Target (NYSE: TGT) posted a 0.5% gain instead of an expected decline.

Bio-Reference Labs (Nasdaq: BRLI) posted higher revenues and profits that beat estimates.  The company provides clinical laboratory testing services primarily in the New York City area.

Smith Micro Software (Nasdaq: SMSI) reported a drop in earnings due to one-time charges, but the results beat expectations.  Analysts promptly upgraded the maker of software for the wireless market.

On the downside

Shares of Union Drilling (Nasdaq: UDRL) tumbled after the provider of drilling services for natural-gas producers posted a drop in 4th quarter profits due to lower utilization.

Saks (NYSE: SKS) reported 4th quarter profits that nearly doubled, but the retailer's management team worried about skittish spending among affluent shoppers.

American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE: AEO) reported disappointing February results with same-store apparel sales down 4% versus year-ago levels.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped 2 points to 681.

Closing Bell Report

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The markets closed modestly higher as Ambac Financial's plan to raise capital won approval from insurance regulators.  The Dow gained 41 points to 12,255 while Nasdaq rose 13 points to 2273.

On the upside

VON Magazine awarded Synchronoss Technologies (Nasdaq: SNCR) its 2008 VON Magazine Innovator Award for its ConvergenceNow software platform.

BearingPoint (NYSE: BE) landed a contract with the Army Medical Research and Material Command valued at up to $115 million over a five year period.

Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) reported that its February traffic rose 6.7% as international traffic surged 13.1%.

On the downside

UCBH (Nasdaq: UCBH) increased its loan-loss provisions for the fourth quarter as more loans are being written off.

Shares of Moneygram International (NYSE: MGI) tumbled after Jim Cramer recommended that investors purchase Moneygram rival Western Union (NYSE: WU).

Citi Investment Research analyst Donald Fandetti downgraded KKR Financial Holdings (NYSE: KFN) saying that an impending recession will further erode the credit markets.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 3 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 10 to 9 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks edged up 3 points to 684.

Mid-Day Report

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The major indexes extended earlier gains as economists focused on declining service sector activity that suggested a weak, but stable economy boosted by higher worker productivity in the 4th quarter.  The Dow rose 73 points to 12,287 while Nasdaq climbed 18 points to 2278.

On the upside

BJ's Wholesale Club (NYSE: BJ) posted profits that quadrupled to beat expectations as the nation's 3rd-largest discount retail chain drew more business from bargain hunters.

Capital Trust (NYSE: CT) reported higher 4th quarter earnings as the investment management firm posted gains from the sale of investments.

Shares of Lawson Products (Nasdaq: LAWS) rose after the parts supplier to the automotive and aerospace sectors posted 4th quarter earnings that tripled due to cost-cutting despite declining revenues.

On the downside

Clothing retailer Chico's FAS (NYSE: CHS) blamed weak sales for a 4th quarter loss versus year-ago profits.

Chinese wireless media and service company KongZhong (Nasdaq: KONG) lowered its revenue forecast while announcing plans to invest further into its wireless Internet business.

Health insurance provider Universal American (NYSE: UAM) lowered its outlook due to an expected decline in Medicare Part D payments.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks edged up 3 points to 684.

Opening Bell Report

|
The markets opened higher as investors mulled over a strong reading on the service sector of the U.S. economy.  The Dow rose 72 points to 12,286 while Nasdaq surged 16 points to 2276.

On the upside

Discount retailer Big Lots (NYSE: BIG) posted earnings that beat estimates while meeting revenue goals.

Canadian Solar (Nasdaq: CSIQ) raised its 1st quarter guidance due to strong demand supported by higher production capacity.

Shares of Packeteer (Nasdaq: PKTR) surged after the developer of bandwidth management systems received a $200 million cash offer from hedge fund Elliott Associates.

On the downside

Trump Entertainment Resorts (Nasdaq: TRMP) posted a wider 4th quarter loss due to goodwill and other asset impairment charges.

Shares of Logility (Nasdaq: LGTY) tumbled after the supply chain software provider offered a preliminary look at declining revenues and earnings for the 1st quarter.

Biotechnology research firm PDL BioPharma (Nasdaq: PDLI) abandoned efforts to sell itself and planned to cut half of its staff.  Analysts promptly downgraded the stock.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 5 points to 686.

Closing Bell Report

|

It was a mixed close for the markets despite disappointing earnings as bargain hunters looked for deals.  The Dow dropped 45 points to 12,214 while Nasdaq added 2 points to 2260.

On the upside

Nuance Communications (Nasdaq: NUAN) introduced its new PaperPort PSP Desktop application that can personalize menus of certain HP printers.

American Axle & Manufacturing (NYSE: AXL) said last week that the plants that the United Auto Workers union have been holding a strike against are not profitable.

Natco Group (NYSE: NTG) recovered some of its losses from yesterday when the company announced the delay of its annual report.

On the downside

Although Obagi Medical Products (Nasdaq: OMPI) reported higher fourth quarter earnings, the results fell short of estimates and the skin care products maker forecast 2008 earnings below expectations.

The Food and Drug Administration will review sites where Theravance (Nasdaq: THRX) is conducting late stage drug trials for its skin infection medication telavancin.

First quarter profit for NCI Building Systems (NYSE: NCS) fell and the company lowered its 2008 outlook due to the slowdown in construction.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 3 points to 681.

Mid-Day Report

|

Disappointing earnings and forecasts sent the markets tumbling during the midday with the Dow plunging 148 points to 12,111.  Nasdaq fell 27 points to 2231.

On the upside

Starwood Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: HOT) will open their Luxury Collection Resort in the United Arab Emirates in 2011.

Excelon (NYSE: EXC) will repurchase $500 million shares of common stock from Bank of America.

Steven Burd, the chief executive of Safeway (NYSE: SWY), expressed confidence in the company's 2008 earnings guidance.

On the downside

The U. S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected some of Tessera Technologies' (Nasdaq: TSRA) claims.

Cell Therapeutics (Nasdaq: CTIC) will issue approximately $51.7 million worth of senior convertible notes.

Jackson Hewitt (NYSE: JTX) disappointed with lower third quarter earnings as fewer people filed early tax returns.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 7 to 2 on the NYSE and by 3 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plunged 12 points to 673.

Opening Bell Report

|

The markets opened lower as investors continued to worry about high oil prices, weak corporate earnings and more home foreclosures.  The Dow lost 84 points to 12,174 while Nasdaq dropped 12 points to 2245.

On the upside

Applied Materials (Nasdaq: AMAT) signed a $1.9 billion deal to supply equipment to multiple solar factories to be constructed by the buyer.

Analysts raised their opinion on Barr Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: BRL) on expectations that the drug company can defend its patent for an oral contraceptive drug treatment.

Leapfrog Enterprises (NYSE: LF) posted a $101 million loss, but the results were smaller than expected which prompted at least one analyst upgrade.

On the downside

Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS) posted lower North American revenues and 4th quarter profits that fell while the world's largest office products supplier also reported gains in its overseas and delivered products businesses.

Consumer electronics retailer Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) was downgraded by analysts due to weak consumer demand for big-ticket items.

China-based Home Inns & Hotels Management (Nasdaq: HMIN) posted higher revenues and a net loss.  Management attributed a lower occupancy rate due to the 40 new hotels that opened.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on both the NYSE and Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 4 points to 678.

Closing Bell Report

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The markets closed modestly lower as oil prices set another record close and construction spending plunged.  The Dow lost 7 points to 12,259 while Nasdaq dropped 13 points to 2259.

On the upside

South African miner Harmony Gold Mining (NYSE: HMY) sold two gold sites for approximately $7.5 million in addition to a royalty.

While fourth quarter earnings for Coeur d'Alene Mines (NYSE: CDE) fell, the results surpassed expectations as the company lowered expenses.

Rising coal prices lifted shares of Massey Energy (NYSE: MEE).

On the downside

Bond insurer Security Capital Assurance (NYSE: SCA) warned that it will report a $1.5 billion charge for the fourth quarter.

Fremont General (NYSE: FMT) was downgraded by Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor's last week.  Standard & Poor's will also remove Fremont from the SmallCap 600 Index after markets close today.

Two analysts cut their price targets for Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL).

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 4 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped 2 points to 684.

Mid-Day Report

|

Rising oil prices and falling construction spending weighed down the markets during the midday with the Dow dropping 31 points to 12,235.  Nasdaq lost 7 points to 2264.

On the upside

ArthroCare (Nasdaq: ARTC) retained the services of Goldman Sachs to explore strategic alternative to increase shareholder value.

Supervalu (NYSE: SVU) affirmed its 2008 guidance and forecast 2009 results above estimates.

Array BioPharma (Nasdaq: ARRY) reported that its ARRY-797 medication reduced pain after dental surgery in a midstage clinical trial.

On the downside

Stereotaxis (Nasdaq: STXS) widened fourth quarter losses and failed to provide guidance for 2008.

Deerfield (NYSE: DFR) blamed an impairment charge for swinging to a fourth quarter loss.

Despite reporting a loss of more than $614 million last year, IndyMac Bancorp (NYSE: IMB) chairman and CEO Michael Perry will receive a minimum base salary of $1 million.

In the broad market, declining issues barely edged out advancers by a slim margin on the NYSE and by nearly 4 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a fraction to 687.

Opening Bell Report

|

The markets continued to sell off with billionaire Warren Buffet joining the chorus of investors to acknowledge an economic recession.  The Dow lost 75 points to 12,191 while Nasdaq fell 12 points to 2259.

On the upside

HSBC Holdings (NYSE: HBC) posted higher 4th quarter profits despite taking some charges related to its exposure to subprime loans.  The British bank closed its mortgage-backed operations in North America last year.

Diebold (NYSE: DBD), which makes business security systems and voting machines, received a $2.63 billion bid from United Technologies (NYSE: UTX).

Gold Fields (NYSE: GFI) said it may lay off nearly 7,000 workers due to power outages in South Africa.  Reduced production tend to boost gold prices.

On the downside

Thornburg Mortgage (NYSE: TMA) reported an increase in margin calls which may put the jumbo mortgage lender out of business.  The stock promptly lost more than half of its value.

A New York court may call off the buyout of Genesco (NYSE: GCO), according to a Dow Jones report. Investment bank UBS and footwear retailer Finish Line (Nasdaq: FINL) will pay cash and stock to Genesco as a settlement.

Shares of Force Protection (Nasdaq: FRPT) fell after the armored-vehicle maker announced a delay in its earnings report due to major accounting errors.

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 fell 3 points to 683.

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