July 2008 Archives

Closing Bell Report

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A surge in jobless claims along with slower than expected growth of the economy sent the markets tumbling to a sharply lower close with the Dow skidding 206 points to 11,378.  Nasdaq lost 4 points to 2326.

On the upside

Marathon Oil (NYSE: MRO) reported a drop in second quarter earnings as margins fell and announced that the company may split into two separate companies.

Geriatric pharmaceuticals company Omnicare (NYSE: OCR) reported lower second quarter earnings that beat expectations.

Third quarter earnings rose for Tetra Tech (Nasdaq: TTEK) to exceed expectations as government contracts inceased.

On the downside

Harris Stratex Networks (Nasdaq: HSTX) warned that full year results will fall short of expectations and said it may have to restate earnings from 2005 to the present due to accounting errors.

Owens-Illinois (NYSE: OI) reported higher second quarter earnings that surpassed estimates as higher product prices offset increased expenses but the stock price tumbled.

Check printer Deluxe (NYSE: DX) reported lower second quarter earnings and warned that third quarter results as well as full year earnings will fall short of estimates.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 3 to 2 on the NYSE, and by more than 10 to 9 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks fell 4 points to 715.

Mid-Day Report

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The markets traded mixed during the midday despite retreating oil prices as the nation's economic growth disappointed.  The Dow tumbled 95 points to 11,489 while Nasdaq rose 16 points to 2345.

On the upside

Sharply higher revenue lifted second quarter earnings for LKQ (Nasdaq: LKQX) to beat expectations prompting the used auto parts supplier to raise its full year outlook.

International Paper (NYSE: IP) reported higher second quarter earnings that beat expectations due to strong international sales.  The company also announced plans to sell subsurface mineral rights for approximately $263 million to Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK).

While second quarter earnings fell for Cablevision Systems (NYSE: CVC), the results surpassed expectations.

On the downside

Although Bare Escentuals (Nasdaq: BARE) posted higher second quarter income that beat expectations, analysts downgraded the cosmetics company when its lowered its full year outlook.

Consol Energy (NYSE: CNX) blamed higher expenses for sharply lower second quarter earnings that fell short of estimates.

A drop in newspaper advertising weighed down second quarter earnings for Valassis Communications (NYSE: VCI) to fall far short of estimates.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 3 to 2 on the NYSE, and by more than 10 to 9 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped 3 points to 716.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened mixed as investors reacted to a report showing anemic economic growth.  The Dow fell 50 points to 11,533 while Nasdaq rose 17 points to 2346 lifted by a strong biotech sector.

On the upside

Imclone (Nasdaq: IMCL) received a $60 a share bid from drug developer Bristol-Myers (NYSE: BMY).  The stock surpassed the target price on hopes of higher offer.

Motorola (NYSE: MOT) posted a profit for the 2nd quarter which beat expectations citing an increase in cell phone shipments.

Diversified manufacturer Tyco International (NYSE: TYC) returned to profitability in the 3rd quarter.

On the downside

Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) reported 2nd quarter earnings of $11.68 billion due to soaring oil prices.  Nonetheless, the results, the biggest quarterly profit ever recorded by a U.S. corporation, missed expectations.

Akamai Technologies (Nasdaq: AKAM) posted revenues and earnings that missed forecasts.  Analysts promptly downgraded the Internet content delivery provider.

Shares of Hologic (Nasdaq: HOLX) tumbled after the diagnostic technology company reported 3rd quarter sales that fell short of estimates while lowering its guidance for the rest of the year.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a slim margin on the NYSE, but were edged out by a margin of 10 to 9 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped a point to 717.

Closing Bell Report

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The Federal Reserve's decision to extend its emergency loan program boosted investor sentiment to lift the markets to a sharply higher close with the Dow leaping 186 points to 11,584.  Nasdaq climbed 10 points to 2330.

On the upside

Turkish cell phone company Turkcell (NYSE: TKC) will pay $500 million to purchase an 80% stake in Belarusian Telecommunciations Network.

Second quarter earnings surged for Hess (NYSE: HES) due to record crude oil prices.

Teck Cominco (NYSE: TCK) announced a $14 billion cash and stock deal to acquire Fording Canadian Coal Trust (NYSE: FDG).

On the downside

Kemet (NYSE: KEM) blamed higher energy expenses and pricing pressure for swinging to a first quarter loss.  The capacitor maker also announced the elimination of 640 jobs.

Although Hanesbrands (NYSE: HBI) reported higher second quarter earnings that more than doubled, the results fell short of estimates.

CommScope (NYSE: ULTI) blamed a one-time charge for sharply lower second quarter earnings.


In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 9 to 7 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 4 points to 719.

Mid-Day Report

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The markets traded mixed during the midday despite an upbeat jobs report as oil prices rebounded.  The Dow gained 54 points to 11,452 while Nasdaq lost 7 points to 2313.

On the upside

Although RF Micro Devices (Nasdaq: RFMD) swung to a loss for the first quarter due to significant restructuring charges, revenue rose to beat expectations.

While American Commercial Lines (Nasdaq: ACLI) blamed increased expenses for lower second quarter earnings, the marine transportation and service company reported higher revenue.

Avon (NYSE: AVP) reported sharply higher second quarter earnings that more than doubled to beat expectations due to strong international sales.

On the downside

Silicon Motion Technology (Nasdaq: SIMO) reported sharply lower second quarter earnings that fell far short of expectations prompting the chip maker to slash its full year guidance.

Second quarter earnings plunged for CB Richard Ellis Group (NYSE: CBG) to miss expectations by a wide margin.

Despite higher revenue, Ultimate Software (Nasdaq: ULTI) swung to a loss for the second quarter due to a one-time settlement fee.


In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by more than 9 to 7 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 2 points to 717.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened higher as oil prices continued to ease and the Federal Reserve Bank extended emergency lending program to banks.  The Dow surged 140 points to 11,538 while Nasdaq climbed 20 points to 2339.

On the upside

Cable service provider Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) posted higher 2nd quarter profits as subscribers shifted from basic services to higher-priced digital services.

Starent Networks (Nasdaq: STAR) reported 2nd quarter earnings that beat estimates.  The stock rose boosted by a favorable court ruling that dismissed a majority of trade secret and patent infringement charges brought on by rival UTStarcom (Nasdaq: UTSI).

The airline sector continued to rally on lower oil prices.  Shares of UAL (Nasdaq: UAUA) and AMR Corp. (NYSE: AMR) rose.

On the downside

Shares of Wyeth (NYSE: WYE) and Elan Corp. (NYSE: ELN) tumbled after the drug companies reported worrisome side effects for their Alzheimer's disease drug candidate.

Corning (NYSE: GLW) posted higher 2nd quarter profits due to strong demand for glass used in LCD and flat screen displays, but guidance for the current quarter were below expectations.

Personal navigation device maker Garmin (Nasdaq: GRMN) posted a 2nd quarter increase in profits, but cut it outlook for the rest of the year.


In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners 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 added 5 points to 720.

Closing Bell Report

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Rising consumer confidence and retreating oil prices lifted the markets to a sharply higher close with the Dow leaping 266 points to 11,398.  Nasdaq jumped 55 points to 2320.

On the upside

While third quarter earnings for Headwaters (NYSE: HW) plunged due to the slumping housing construction, the results surpassed estimates.

Shares of bond insurers Ambac Financial Group (NYSE: ABK), MBIA (NYSE: MBI) and Radian Group (NYSE: RDN) surged after the cost of debt protection fell.

East West Bancorp (Nasdaq: EWBC) blamed loan loss provisions for reporting a preliminary loss for the second quarter but stated that loan loss provisions will decrease by the end of 2009.

On the downside

Sirius Satellite (Nasdaq: ) will raise capital to finance its acquisition of XM Satellite Radio (Nasdaq: XMSR) through the sale of discounted stock.

Sepracor (Nasdaq: SEPR) disappointed with second quarter earnings that fell short of estimates and lowered its full year outlook.

Although Questar (NYSE: STR) reported higher second quarter earnings, revenue fell short of expectations.


In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks soared 18 points to 715.

Mid-Day Report

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Falling oil prices along with a rebound in consumer confidence lifted the markets higher during the midday with the Dow jumping 159 points to 11,290.  Nasdaq surged 44 points to 2308.

On the upside

American Express (NYSE: AXP) paid $251 million in cash to acquire a 13% stake in expense report software maker Concur Technologies (Nasdaq: CNQR).

Moody's Investors Service cited AK Steel's (NYSE: AKS) improved operating and financial profile for placing the company under review for a possible upgrade.

ArvinMeritor (NYSE: ARM) reversed year ago losses to post a profit for the third quarter as global demand increased.

On the downside

Idearc (NYSE: IAR) disappointed with lower second quarter earnings that fell short of estimates.

Providence (Nasdaq: PRSC) cut its second quarter guidance as well as its full year outlook due to contract delays and the budgetary constraints of clients.

Although Harmonic (Nasdaq: HLIT) reported second quarter earnings that surged more than three times year ago levels, the stock price tumbled.


In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 2 on both the NYSE and Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks soared 15 points to 711.

Opening Bell Report

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An unexpected uptick in consumer confidence gave bargain hunters a reason to take advantage of yesterday's sell-off.  The Dow surged 110 points to 11,241 while Nasdaq soared 40 points to 2303.

On the upside

The chairman and chief executive of French telecommunications giant Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) both stepped down giving in to demand by shareholders for management change after six consecutive quarters of losses.

A drop in oil prices lifted the airline sector with shares of United Airlines (Nasdaq: UAUA) and AMR (NYSE: AMR) rising.

United States Steel (NYSE: X) posted profits that more than doubled to beat expectations due to strong demand and record prices.

On the downside

Merrill Lynch (NYSE: MER) announced plans to issue $8.5 billion in new shares and to sell of more than $30 billion in collateralized debt obligations.

Ball bearings maker Kaydon Corp. (NYSE: KDN) posted profits that beat exstimates, but lowered its full-year outlook.

Zoran (Nasdaq: ZRAN) which makes chips used in DVD players lowered its 3rd quarter revenue targets citing weak consumer spending.


In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 on both the NYSE and Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks leaped 10 points to 707.

Closing Bell Report

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Jittery investors wary of rising oil prices and disappointing earnings sold off to send the market plummeting to a sharply lower close with the Dow collapsing 240 points to 11,131.  Nasdaq skidded 46 points to 2264.

On the upside

Sunoco (NYSE: SUN) restarted a crude unit at its Eagle Point refinery that had shut down when power was lost.

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: BCRX) reported that its injectible flu treatment met the goals of a midstage clinical trial.

EnergySouth (Nasdaq: ENSI) agreed to be acquired by Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE) for approximately $510 million in cash.

On the downside

Mylan's (NYSE: MYL) generic version of Sciele Pharma's (Nasdaq: SCRX) blood pressure treatment Sular was approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Renewed concerns about the stability of the financial services sector sent shares of Merrill Lynch (Nasdaq: MER) tumbling.

Insurance industry earnings concerns weighed down shares of American International Group (NYSE: AIG).


In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 3 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks skidded 14 points to 696.

Mid-Day Report

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Rising oil prices and disappointing earnings news sent the markets down sharply during the midday with the Dow skidding 190 points to 11,180.  Nasdaq plummeted 34 points to 2276.

On the upside

Beauty care products company Alberto-Culver (NYSE: ACV) reported third quarter earnings that surpassed estimates as revenue climbed.

VeriFone Holdings (NYSE: PAY) announced that it will restate financial reports on August 19 from the first three quarters of fiscal 2007 along with reports for full year 2007 and the first two quarters of fiscal 2008.

BMO Capital Markets upgraded Forest Oil (NYSE: FST).

On the downside

The Food and Drug Administration rejected Vanda Pharmaceuticals' (Nasdaq: VNDA) schizophrenia drug iloperidone and recommended that the biopharmaceutical conduct further studies.

Irish air liner Ryanair Holdings (Nasdaq: RYAAY) warned of a possible loss for the fiscal year, it's first ever, due to falling airfares.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin accused coal and steel producer Mechel (NYSE: MTL) of evading taxes by selling its products abroad through foreign subsidiaries.


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 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plunged 11 points to 700.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened mostly lower as investors mulled over the latest earnings news amid rising oil prices.  The Dow lost 30 points to 11,341 while Nasdaq fell 7 points to 2302.

On the upside

Shares of Amgen (Nasdaq: AMGN) after the company reported positive trial results for its osteoporosis drug candidate.

Kraft Foods (NYSE: KFT) reported a slight increase in profits and boosted its outlook for the year.

Egg producer Cal-Maine Foods (Nasdaq: CALM) posted 4th quarter profits that nearly doubled due to strong demand and short supply.

On the downside

Chicken producer Tyson Foods (NYSE: TSN) reported a sharp decline in profits due to the rising cost of grain to feed livestock.

Toyota (NYSE: TM) still expected record auto sales for the year, but lowered its targets due to a sluggish North American market.

Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) posted higher profits and margins that beat expectations, but investors remained worried about the impact of the U.S. economic downturn on enrollment of subscribers.


In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a slim margin on the NYSE and by a margin of 4 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped 2 points to 707.

Closing Bell Report

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An unexpected gain in durable goods orders along with a rebound in consumer sentiment lifted the markets to a modestly higher close with the Dow adding 21 points to 11,371.  Nasdaq surged 30 points to 2311.

On the upside

UCBH Holdings (Nasdaq: UCBH) reported sharply lower second quarter earnings due to higher loan loss provisions but interest income rose prompting an upgrade.

Second quarter earnings for VisionChina Media (Nasdaq: VISN) climbed as revenue soared.

Horizon Lines (NYSE: HRZ) blamed record fuel expenses for lower second quarter earnings and for slashing its full year outlook but the results surpassed estimates.

On the downside

Interactive Brokers Group (Nasdaq: IBKR) reported higher second quarter earnings but the results fell short of estimates.

Analysts downgraded Regions Financial (NYSE: RF) after the bank reported sharply lower second quarter earnings that fell short of estimates and set aside $309 million in loan loss provisions.

Wachovia (NYSE: WB) announced the departure of chief financial officer Thomas J. Wurtz after the bank reported a larger than expected second quarter loss.


In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 4 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks climbed 8 points to 710.

Mid-Day Report

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A rebound in consumer confidence lifted the markets modestly higher during the midday with the Dow gaining 34 points to 11,383.  Nasdaq surged 23 points to 2304.

On the upside

Second quarter earnings for Bucyrus International (Nasdaq: BUCY) more than doubled due to increased demand and the company's acquisition of DBT.

Riverbed Technology (Nasdaq: RVBD) reported higher revenue and better than expected second quarter results as the company reduced expenses.

NuVasive (Nasdaq: NUVA) reported better than expected second quarter results and lifted its full year outlook.

On the downside

Cepheid (Nasdaq: CPHD) blamed disappointing sales for widening second quarter losses and forecasting full year results below expectations.

Affymetrix (Nasdaq: AFFX) swung to a loss for the second quarter that missed expectations due to a restructuring charge and lower revenue prompting the company to cut its full year guidance.

Although Western Digital (NYSE: WDC) reported better than expected fourth quarter earnings, the hard disk drive maker forecast first quarter results below estimates prompting a downgrade.


In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by nearly 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks soared 11 points to 714.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened higher as investors mulled over a mixed batch of economic data which suggested overall economic resilience, but the housing sector remained weak.  The Dow added 40 points to 11,389 while Nasdaq leaped 20 points to 2300.

On the upside

Arch Coal (NYSE: ACI) posted 2nd quarter earnings that tripled due to the soaring price of coal and strong demand from China and India.

Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) reported slightly higher profits as the online DVD rental service provider spent less to sign up new customers.

Shares in Juniper Networks (Nasdaq: JNPR) surged after analysts upgraded the stock and its sector following an upbeat earnings report from the maker of networking equipment.

On the downside

Shares of Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) and Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) fell following the latest report on foreclosures which doubled in number versus year-ago levels.

Shares of Crocs (Nasdaq: CROX) tumbled after the shoe company lowered its profit targets.  Analysts promptly downgraded the stock.

Surf apparel maker Volcom (Nasdaq: VLCM) lost its footing after posting lower 2nd quarter and cutting its outlook for the rest of the year.


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

Closing Bell Report

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Existing home sales tumbled by more than double the expected amount to send the markets down to a sharply lower close with the Dow skidding 283 points to 11,349.  Nasdaq plummeted 46 points to 2280.

On the upside

Although first quarter earnings fell for Cirrus Logic (Nasdaq: CRUS), the results beat expectations prompting an upgrade.

Sanmina-SCI (Nasdaq: SANM) swung to a profit for the third quarter after selling its personal computing business prompting an upgrade.

Staffing firm Robert Half International (NYSE: RHI) reported higher second quarter earnings that surpassed estimates.

On the downside

Varian (Nasdaq: VARI) disappointed with lower third quarter earnings due to delayed shipments and fewer large system installations.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin criticized the pricing policy of Mechel OAO (NYSE: MTL) sending shares of the mining and steel company plummeting.

Shares of Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) and Northwest Airlines (NYSE: NWA) tumbled after a federal judge set a November 5 trial date for a lawsuit seeking to block Delta's acquisition of Northwest.


In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers 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 plummeted 17 points to 702.

Mid-Day Report

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A sharper than expected drop in existing home sales sent the markets skidding during the midday with the Dow plummeting 152 points to 11,481.  Nasdaq plunged 27 points to 2299.

On the upside

Although second quarter earnings for RadioShack (NYSE: RSH) slipped, the results surpassed analyst expectations.

AutoNation (NYSE: AN) blamed the weak economy for lower second quarter earnings.  The results beat expectations and the auto retailer announced cost cutting measures that include the elimination of 1,300 jobs as well as the sale of underperforming stores.

Increased sales of oncology systems boosted third quarter earnings for Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR) to surpass estimates.

On the downside

Second quarter earnings plunged for Cadence Design Systems (Nasdaq: CDNS) due to the sluggish economy.  The electronic design software company cut its third quarter outlook prompting an analyst downgrade.

While Sierra Wireless (Nasdaq: SWIR) reported higher second quarter earnings that met expectations, the wireless modem maker issued a weak guidance for the third quarter.

MEMC Electronic Materials (NYSE: WFR) reported second quarter earnings that fell short of estimates and lowered its full year outlook.


In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by 7 to 5 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks dropped 8 points to 712.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened lower as investors grappled with falling home prices while the auto industry continued to struggle.  The Dow lost 94 points to 11,538 while Nasdaq fell 15 points to 2309.

On the upside

Medical products maker Vital Signs (Nasdaq: VITL) was snapped up by General Electric's GE Healthcare unit (NYSE: GE) for $860 million in cash.

Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM) set modest earnings outlook for the rest of the year, but investors celebrated the end of a lawsuit between Nokia (NYSE: NOK) and the world's largest maker of chips that run cell phones.

Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) showed surprising resilience amid a weak U.S. economy as revenues and earnings leaped and beat expectations.  The CEO of the online retailer explained that consumers opted to order online rather than drive due to high gasoline prices.

On the downside

Investors worried that government support for Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) and Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) may not prevent the need to raise capital diluting existing shareholders.

Ford (NYSE: F) posted a hefty $8.7 billion loss for the latest quarter as the struggling automaker retooled its factories to produce smaller, fuel-efficient cars.

Casual dining chain Cheesecake Factory (Nasdaq: CAKE) reported lower profits due to higher costs and a decline in same-store sales.


In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by 5 to 4 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 4 points to 715.

Closing Bell Report

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Crude oil dropped nearly $4 a barrel to lift the markets to a modestly higher close.  The Dow rose 30 points to 11,632 while Nasdaq climbed 22 points to 2326.

On the upside

Shares of mortgage insurer Radian Group (NYSE: RDN) surged over optimism that legislation in the House to assist Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will strengthen the housing market.

Lennox International (NYSE: LII) reported higher second quarter earnings that beat expectations as warmer weather boosted sales in its refrigeration business.

CEC Entertainment (NYSE: CEC), which operates Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, reported higher second quarter earnings that surpassed estimates and lifted its full year outlook.

On the downside

ADC Telecommunications (Nasdaq: ADCT) blamed weak demand for lowering its fiscal 2008 guidance.

E-Trade Financial (Nasdaq: ETFC) swung to a loss for the second quarter and warned that the sluggish economy will continue to challenge the company's recovery efforts.

While second quarter earnings rose for Convergys (NYSE: CVG), revenue fell and the business outsourcing services company lowered its full year outlook.


In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by more than 9 to 7 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 2 points to 719.

Mid-Day Report

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Retreating oil prices along with upbeat earnings news boosted the markets during the midday with the Dow gaining 26 points to 11,628.  Nasdaq soared 25 points to 2329.

On the upside

Property and casualty insurer Philadelphia Consolidated Holding (Nasdaq: PHLY) received a $4.39 billion all cash buy out offer from Japanese insurer Tokio Marine Holdings.

Shares of Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) and Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) surged as the House prepared to vote on a housing bill designed to help homeowners and the two mortgage buyers.

AirTran (NYSE: AAI) announced expanded service in Milwaukee including the addition of nonstop service to Fort Lauderdale.

On the downside

Lehman Brothers downgraded power company Mirant (NYSE: MIR).

Costco Wholesale (Nasdaq: COST) warned that fourth quarter earnings will fall short of estimates due to higher energy expenses.

Although Anadigics (Nasdaq: ANAD) reported higher second quarter earnings that surpassed estimates, analysts downgraded the chipmaker for its disappointing third quarter outlook.


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 gained 5 points to 722.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened higher as oil prices retreated from record levels while the financial sector stabilized.  The Dow rose 25 points to 11,628 while Nasdaq surged 26 points to 2330.

On the upside

Washington Mutual (NYSE: WM) posted $3.3 billion in losses, but a favorable credit rating from S&P eased worries among investors.  Overall, the banking sector continued to rally with shares of Citigroup (NYSE: C) and Wachovia Bank (NYSE: WB) among the morning's biggest gainers.

General Motors (NYSE: GM) reported a 5% decline in 2nd quarter vehicle sales.  An increase in global demand nearly offset the weakness in the U.S. market.  Investors snapped up the stock, a Dow component.

EMC (NYSE: EMC) posted 2nd quarter results that beat expectations due to record demand for its data storage products and services.

On the downside

Business software maker VMware (NYSE: VMW) which is partially owned by EMC reported higher revenues and earnings due to strong international demand.  However, the company offered modest guidance for the current quarter.  Analysts promptly downgraded the stock as investors sold off.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) reported more than $5.4 billion in profits on $71.4 billion in revenues as oil prices surged.  However, the stock fell as production levels declined versus year-ago levels.

Boeing (NYSE: BA) posted lower profits blaming the shortfall on a delayed military plane contract.  The stock continued to retreat as worries lingered about a slowing global economy and more delayed purchases.


In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose 7 points to 723.

Closing Bell Report

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The markets surged to close sharply higher as oil prices tumbled more than $3 per barrel.  The Dow leaped 135 points to 11,603 while Nasdaq soared 24 points to 2304.

On the upside

Second quarter earnings for SunTrust Banks (NYSE: STI) fell due to higher loan loss provisions but the results surpassed expectations.

Shares of South Financial Group (Nasdaq: TSFG) surged ahead of its earnings release after market close.

UAL (Nasdaq: UAUA) blamed a non-cash special accounting charge for its second quarter loss.  Shares of the parent company of United Airlines surged after announcing an infusion of $1.7 billion in cash.

On the downside

Second quarter earnings for Sterling Bancshares (Nasdaq: SBIB) fell short of estimates because one of the bank's borrowers may be filing for bankruptcy.

Merck (NYSE: MRK) reported higher second quarter earnings despite lower revenue as the company cut expenses.  Analyst downgraded Merck when the company withheld its earnings forecasts.

Vodafone (NYSE: VOD) blamed weak sales for lowering its full year revenue outlook.


In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 19 points to 717.

Mid-Day Report

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Despite a drop in oil prices, the markets traded mixed during the midday over disappointing earnings.  The Dow added 20 points to 11,488 while Nasdaq slipped 6 points to 2274.

On the upside

Woodward Governor (Nasdaq: WGOV) reported higher third quarter earnings that beat expectations as sales rose prompting the energy control systems and components maker to lift its full year outlook.

Higher fuel costs weighed down second quarter earnings for Royal Caribbean (NYSE: RCL) but the results met expectations and the cruise line operator announced the elimination of 400 jobs to cut costs.

Jefferies Group (NYSE: JEF) reported a narrower than expected loss for the second quarter.

On the downside

SanDisk (Nasdaq: SNDK) blamed the sluggish economy for swinging to a loss for the second quarter.  Analysts promptly downgraded the memory chip maker.

Millicom International Cellular (Nasdaq: MICC) reported second quarter earnings that fell short of estimates and announced plans to acquire privately held Amnet Telecommunications.

Moody's Investors Service placed Assured Guaranty (NYSE: AGO) on review for a possible downgrade.  Meanwhile, the bond insurer warned that second quarter earnings will fall.


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 climbed 9 points to 707.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened lower as investors digested the latest batch of corporate earnings news.  The Dow lost 10 points to 11,458 while Nasdaq gave up 8 points to 2271.

On the upside

Shares of Foundry Networks (Nasdaq: FDRY) soared after Brocade Communications (Nasdaq: BRCD) offered $3 billion to buy the network equipment maker.

PepsiAmericas (NYSE: PAS) posted higher 2nd quarter profits and raised its full-year guidance.

Lower oil prices boosted the airline sector.  Shares of AMR (NYSE: AMR), UAL (Nasdaq: UAUA) and Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) surged.

On the downside

Wachovia (NYSE: WB) took a $8.8 billion loss due to charges and reserves for bad mortgage loans and slashed its dividend.

Shares of American Express (NYSE: AXP) fell sharply after the credit card company reported disappointing results.

Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN) posted lower earnings due to weak sales of cell phone chips.


In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 5 to 4 on the NYSE and by a slim margin on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 3 points to 694.

Closing Bell Report

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Although Bank of America surprised with better than expected earnings, Apple forecast disappointing fourth quarter results to weigh down the markets to a modestly lower close with the Dow falling 29 points to 11,467.  Nasdaq lost 3 points to 2280.

On the upside

Piper Jaffray analyst Michael E. Cox upgraded Gibraltar Industries (Nasdaq: ROCK) as the company reduced expenses and raised their prices.

Jefferies & Co. analyst Lawrence Klatzkin said in a client note that Las Vegas Sands' (NYSE: LVS) stock price is undervalued.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Mike Abramsky called the threat that Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone poses to Research in Motion's (Nasdaq: RIMM) popular BlackBerry device over exaggerated.

On the downside

Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Rommel Dionisio downgraded Nautilus (Nasdaq: NLS) due to higher costs and lower consumer spending.

Shares of Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) fell as oil prices rebounded and a survey indicated pessimism about the industry among airline executives.

Wilmington Trust (NYSE: WL) swung to a second quarter loss due to significant charges for investment losses prompting a downgrade.


In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of moer than 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by 9 to 7 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 5 points to 698.

Mid-Day Report

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A rebound in crude oil prices weighed down the markets during the midday with the Dow losing 14 points to 11,482.  Nasdaq fell 5 points to 2278.

On the upside

Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) will sell $3 billion of three-month and six-month benchmark bills through a Dutch auction on Wednesday.

Two investment groups exercised the terms of their loan and took control of SemGroup Energy Partners (Nasdaq: SGLP).

Timken (NYSE: TKR) raised its second quarter as well as its full year outlook above analyst expectations.

On the downside

Charlotte Russe (Nasdaq: CHIC) disappointed with lower third quarter earnings that fell short of estimates as same store sales dropped prompting a downgrade.

Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK) and Schering-Plough (NYSE: SGP) will report updated data from their aortic stenosis treatment Vytorin this afternoon and delayed the release of their second quarter earnings until after market close.

On Friday, Moody's Investors Service downgraded the ratings of iStar Financial (Nasdaq: SFI) due to increased loan loss provisions.


In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 4 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a fraction to 694.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened higher after four of the five biggest U.S. banks posted better than expected results.   The Dow added 50 points to 11,546 while Nasdaq climbed 12 points to 2295.

On the upside

Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) posted lower earnings due to the housing slump, but business unrelated to real estate continued to grow.

Roche offered $89 a share for the remainder of Genentech (NYSE: DNA) that the Swiss pharmaceutical maker does not own.  Investors are betting on an even higher offer with the weak dollar making U.S. businesses look affordable to foreign companies.

Shares of American International Group (NYSE: AIG) surged after an analyst upgraded the insurance sector.

On the downside

Surgical products maker ArthroCare (Nasdaq: ARTC) may restate earnings and revenues from 2006 and 2007.  The stock promptly sold off.

Toymaker Hasbro (NYSE: HAS) posted higher 2nd quarter profits and revenues, but the stock edged lower on continued worries of the impact of a slowing U.S. economy.

Shares of Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) fell after the Internet portal reached an accord to end a battle for control by adding Carl Icahn and two additional members to Yahoo's board.


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

Closing Bell Report

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It was a mixed close for the markets with Google's disappointing earnings weighing down the tech heavy Nasdaq while the financial serivces sector lifted the Dow 50 points to 11,497.   Nasdaq plunged 30 points to 2283.

On the upside

MF Global (NYSE: MF) raised $150 million through the sale of preferred shares and will use the proceed to repay part of a $1.4 billion bridge loan facility.

Oilfield services provider Schlumberger (NYSE: SLB) reported higher second quarter earnings that surpassed expectations as clients increased searches for new crude oil and natural gas sources.

The Securities and Exchange Commission accepted Freddie Mac's (NYSE: FRE) filing to raise capital through a stock offering.

On the downside

Although A&P supermarket chain parent Greater Atlantic & Pacific Tea (NYSE: GAP) narrowed first quarter losses, the results missed expectations.

Second quarter earnings for Manpower (NYSE: MAN) fell and the recruitment firm forecast third quarter results below estimates due to a sluggish global economy.

Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD) widened second quarter losses and announced the departure of chief executive Hector Ruiz.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 10 to 9 on the NYSE while decliners edged out advancers by more than 10 to 9 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 4 points to 693.

Mid-Day Report

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Despite upbeat results from Citigroup, the markets traded mixed during the midday after Google disappointed with earnings that fell short of expectations.  The Dow gained 25 points to 11,472 while Nasdaq plunged 26 points to 2287.

On the upside

Comerica (NYSE: CMA) reported sharply lower second quarter earnings due to loan loss provisions but the results topped expectations.

Although second quarter earnings for Tempur-Pedic International (NYSE: TPX) fell, the results surpassed estimates.

Shares of Pacific Ethanol (Nasdaq: PEIX) rose after UBS upgraded the ethanol sector.

On the downside

SemGroup Energy Partners (Nasdaq: SGLP) announced yesterday that it may file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection due to liquidity problems.

Evergreen Solar (Nasdaq: ESLR) widened second quarter losses and forecast third quarter results below expectations.

IStar Financial (NYSE: SFI) blamed higher loan loss provisions and increased write-downs for warning that second quarter results will fall short of estimates.

In the broad market, advancing issues barely edged out decliners by a slim margin on the NYSE while decliners outpaced advancers by nearly 10 to 9 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost a point to 696.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets fell on a mixed batch of earnings news amid difficult economic conditions.  The Dow dropped 37 points to 11,408 while Nasdaq tumbled 35 points to 2276.

On the upside

Citigroup (NYSE: C) posted a $2.5 billion loss, but the results were better than expected.

Toy maker Mattel (NYSE: MAT) reported higher revenues as earnings fell due to higher costs.  Investors were generally pleased with the results which beat expectations.

Generic drug maker Barr Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: BRL) received a $7 billion cash and stock offer from Israeli drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical (Nasdaq: TEVA).

On the downside

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) posted higher revenues and earnings that showed the effects of a slowing economy.  Investors hoping for recession-proof results promptly sold the stock.

Overstock.com (Nasdaq: OSTK) posted higher revenues due to the addition of half a million online customers, but investors focused on the continued losses.

Biotechnology company Gilead Science (Nasdaq: GILD) reported higher revenues and earnings on increased HIV drug sales.  Analysts attributed much of the gains to a favorable currency exchange rate and downgraded the stock on valuation.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers 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 lost 3 points to 692.

Closing Bell Report

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Strong earnings results lifted the markets to a sharply higher close with the Dow jumping 207 points to 11,447.  Nasdaq soared 27 points to 2312. 

On the upside

An Israeli newspaper reported that generic drug maker Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: TEVA) is in discussions to acquire rival Barr Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: BRL).

Shares of Wachovia (NYSE: WB) surged along with the banking sector rally despite a special inspection by several state securities regulators investigating the company's auction rate securities practices.

Office furniture and hearth products maker HNI (NYSE: HNI) reported a drop in second quarter earnings but the results surpassed expectations.

On the downside

Second quarter earnings for factory built home company Champion Enterprises (NYSE: CHB) tumbled to fall far short of expectations due to the housing market slump.

Although Nucor (NYSE: NUE) reported higher second quarter earnings, the steel maker forecast third quarter results below expectations.

United Rentals (NYSE: URI) announced that its tender offer is priced at $22.00 per share.


In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners 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 leaped 10 points to 697.

Mid-Day Report

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The markets extended its gains during the midday with the Dow leaping 125 points to 11,364 due to upbeat earnings in the financial services sector.  Nasdaq climbed 16 points to 2301. 

On the upside

MGIC Investment (NYSE: MTG) swung to a second quarter loss due to increased loan delinquencies but revenue rose.

Colonial BancGroup (Nasdaq: CNB) blamed higher loan loss provisions for swinging to a second quarter loss but CEO Robert Lowder said that charge-offs will not increase in the coming quarters prompting an analyst upgrade.

ON Semiconductor (Nasdaq: ONNN) will pay approximately $115 million in stock to acquire Catalyst Semiconductor (Nasdaq: CATS).

On the downside

ValueClick (NYSE: VCLK) blamed a drop in display advertising due to the weak economy for lowering its revenue and earnings outlook for the year.

TeleTech Holdings (Nasdaq: TTEC) completed restating financials for the past twelve years due to errors related to the accounting of stock based compensation.

Although Safeway (NYSE: SWY) reported higher second quarter earnings that surpassed expectations, the grocery store chain lowered its outlook for same store sales growth.


In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by a margin of 7 to 5 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a fraction to 687.

Opening Bell Report

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Strong results in the banking sector lifted the markets at the opening bell with the Dow up 57 points to 11,296 while Nasdaq jumped 12 points to 2297 after half an hour of trading.  Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Fed's regional manufacturing survey posted a sharper than expected decline.

On the upside

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) reported profits that fell by more than half due to significant loan losses, but the results were better than expected.

Ohio-based Huntington Bancshares (Nasdaq: HBAN) reported higher 2nd quarter earnings, but lowered its full-year forecast setting aside reserves for loan losses.

Shares of Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) and Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) rallied again on hopes that they would remain viable companies as along as a segment of the banking industry continued to perform.

On the downside

Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) posted lower profits on higher revenues after the world's biggest beverage company took a one-time charge to cover its acquisition of Glaceua's Vitaminwater for $4.1 billion last June.

Online auction service provider EBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) posted a strong 2nd quarter report, but the company offered a mixed outlook for the rest of the year.

Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE: BK) reported smaller profits for the 2nd quarter.  The recently merged company also took a charge related to an April court ruling involving leveraged leases.


In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by a margin of 5 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose 1 point to 688.

Closing Bell Report

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Sharply lower crude oil prices along with upbeat earnings boosted the markets to a higher close with the Dow skyrocketing 277 points to 11,239.  Nasdaq leaped 69 points to 2285.

On the upside

Retreating oil prices and better than expected earnings from American Airlines (NYSE: AMR) and Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) lifted shares of United Air Lines (Nasdaq: UAUA), Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) and Northwest Airlines (NYSE: NWA).

News Corp. (NYSE: NWS) retained the services of Lehman Brothers (NYSE: LEH) to explore strategic options for three European television stations.

Upbeat earnings from Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) lifted shares of Washington Mutual (NYSE: WM).

On the downside

Sun Trust Robinson Humphrey downgraded St. Mary Land & Exploration (NYSE: SM).

EXCO Resources (NYSE: XCO) hired Goldman Sachs to assist the oil and natural gas company research and explore possible joint venture initiatives.

Leerink Swann analyst Bret Jones downgraded eResearch Technology (Nasdaq: ERES) over valuation concerns.


In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks jumped 24 points to 687.

Mid-Day Report

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Tumbling crude oil prices lifted the markets sharply higher during the midday with the Dow leaping 148 points to 11,111.  Nasdaq soared 37 points to 2253.

On the upside

Although AMR (NYSE: AMR), the parent company of American Airlines, swung to a loss for the second quarter due to record fuel expenses, the results were better than analyts expected.

Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) blamed soaring fuel costs for swinging to a second quarter loss but the results beat expectations.

Old Dominion Freight Line (Nasdaq: ODFL) forecast second quarter earnings ahead of expectations as productivity improved and prices stabilized prompting the trucking company to lift it full year guidance.

On the downside

Second quarter earnings for Knight Capital Group (Nasdaq: NITE) rose as trading revenue increased but the results fell short of estimates.

Gannett (NYSE: GCI) blamed sharply lower revenue for a drop in second quarter earnings.

Alesco Financial (NYSE: AFN) must record an $86 million loss from the real estate investment trust's investment in collateralized debt obligations issued by IndyMac.


In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by a margin of nearly 5 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 12 points to 674.

Opening Bell Report

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Upbeat earnings news along with a drop in oil prices lifted the markets to a modestly higher open with the Dow gaining 21 points to 10,984.  Nasdaq added 2 points to 2218.

On the upside

Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) reported lower second quarter earnings due to loan losses but the results surpassed expectations prompting the nation's fifth largest bank to increase its quarterly dividend to 34 cents per share from 31 cents per share.

Cleveland-Cliffs (NYSE: CLF) announced that it will purchase coal producer Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE: ANR) in a cash and stock deal valued at approximately $10 billion.

Business outsourcing services provider Convergys (NYSE: CVG) will acquire automated voice response system maker Intervoice (Nasdaq: INTV) in an all cash deal valued at approximately $335 million.

On the downside

Northland Securities downgraded Orion Energy Systems (Nasdaq: OESX) after the energy management systems company lowered its full year outlook.

Seagate Technology (NYSE: STX) disappointed with lower fourth quarter earnings that missed expectations and forecast first quarter results that fell far short of estimates.

JP Morgan downgraded Chicago Bridge & Iron (NYSE: CBI) after the company announced that it will record a $317 million pretax charge in the second quarter.


In the broad market, advancing issues were on par with decliners on the NYSE while advancers outpaced deliners by a margin of more than 7 to 5 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 2 points to 664.

Closing Bell Report

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Despite a sharp drop in oil prices, the Dow tumbled 93 points to close at 10,963 over Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's comments that the economy faces numerous difficulties.  Nasdaq added 3 points to 2216.

On the upside

Rumors that South Korean wireless service provider SK Telecom engaged in discussions to acquire Sprint Nextel(NYSE: S) lifted shares of Sprint.

State Street (NYSE: STT) reported higher second quarter earnings that beat estimates as servicing fees rose and interest revenue soared.

CSG Systems International (NYSE: CSGS) extended a contract with Comcast Cable by four years prompting upgrades.

On the downside

Veraz Networks (Nasdaq: VRAZ) blamed a challenging business environment for forecasting second quarter revenue below expectations.

Shares of Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) and Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) fell as investors sold financial services stocks.

Although the state of Alaska rejected Exxon Mobil's (NYSE: XOM) plan to develop the Point Thomson field, Exxon will begin work on the site.


In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 7 to 5 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped 2 points to 662.

Mid-Day Report

|
The markets traded mixed during the midday as falling oil prices tempered news of soaring wholesale inflation.  The Dow dropped 41 points to 11,014 while Nasdaq added 5 points to 2218.

On the upside

Coldwater Creek (Nasdaq: CWTR) raised its second quarter and full year outlook to surpass estimates as cost cutting measures begin to take effect.

In an article in the New York Post, Lehman Brothers (NYSE: LEH) CEO Richard Fuld said that the nation's fourth largest investment bank is exploring the possibility of taking the company private.

Genentech (NYSE: DNA) reported higher second quarter earnings as sales rose prompting the biotechnology company to lift its full year outlook.

On the downside

Sonic Automotive (NYSE: SAH) blamed disappointing sales for lowering its earnings outlook for the full year.

Wachovia Capital Markets analyst John Hall downgraded American International Group (NYSE: AIG) and slashed his earnings estimate for the insurer due to exposure to the ongoing credit crisis.

Lehman Brothers lowered its price target and fiscal 2008 earnings expectation for credit card company Capital One Financial (NYSE: COF) as payment delinquencies increase.


In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 7 to 5 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost a point to 664.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened sharply lower with the Dow plummeting 197 points to 10,858 over rising wholesale inflation and continued concerns about the financial services sector.  Nasdaq skidded 36 points to 2177.

On the upside

Evergreen Solar (Nasdaq: ESLR) signed a contract valued at approximately $1.2 billion, the largest in the history of the company, to supply solar panels to Germany's IBC Solar AG.

First Horizon National (NYSE: FHN) swung to a larger than expected loss for the second quarter due to sharply higher loan loss provisions but the stock price recovered after collapsing yesterday.

Shares of Washington Mutual (NYSE: WM) recovered after the company reassured investors that the bank had over $40 billion in excess liquidity. Rrumors also circulated that the company will eliminate additional positions in order to cut costs.

On the downside

ViroPharma (Nasdaq: VPHM) announced plans to purchase Lev Pharmaceuticals in a cash and stock deal valued at approximately $617.5 million.

Shares of Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) and Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) extended their losses as investors continued to flee mortgage related stocks.

Oppenheimer analyst Meredith Whitney downgraded Wachovia (NYSE: WB) saying that the company will report losses for fiscal 2008 as well as 2009 and expects loan loss provisions for the second quarter to reach $9.5 billion.


In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 12 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 4 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plunged 13 points to 652.

Closing Bell Report

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Despite assurances that the government will stabilize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac fears of further bank failures sent the markets tumbling to a close with the Dow losing 45 points to 11,055.  Nasdaq plunged 26 points to 2213.

On the upside

Shares of Polaris Industries (NYSE: PII) rose ahead of its earnings release tomorrow morning.

Stewart Enterprises (Nasdaq: STEI) rejected an acquisition offer of approximately $881.7 million from rival funeral services Service Corporation International (NYSE: SCI).

Chinese cell phone maker Qiao Xing Universal Telephone (Nasdaq: XING) reversed year ago losses to report a profit for fiscal 2007 as sales rose.

On the downside

Concerns about the solvency of First Horizon National (NYSE: FHN) sent shares of the regional bank tumbling.

Downey Financial (NYSE: DSL) reported that nonperforming assets surged to 14.33% in May from 1.3% a year earlier.

Moody's Investors Service cited a weak air travel market for downgrading AirTran Holdings' (NYSE: AAI) rating.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plunged 10 points to 665.

Mid-Day Report

|
Concerns of further bank failures weighed down the markets during the midday with the Dow dropping 59 points to 11,042.  Nasdaq tumbled 25 points to 2214.

On the upside

Cardiome Pharma (Nasdaq: CRME) reported positive results from a midstage clinical trial of its abnormal heart rhythm treatment vernakalant.

Canadian Solar (Nasdaq: CSIQ) raised its second quarter revenue outlook to surpass estimates.

Allegheny Technologies (NYSE: ATI) lifted its outlook for the second quarter due to a one-time tax gain.

On the downside

Goldman Sachs (Nasdaq: ZION) cited the higher cost of capital and the continuing credit crisis for downgrading Zions Bancorp and slashing its price target for the commercial bank.

Lehman Brothers analyst Bruce Harting said that Washington Mutual (NYSE: WM) must increase it reserves by a substantial amount to cover loan losses through the second half of 2009.

Despite reassurances from National City (NYSE: NCC) that there is no unusual depositor activity, shares of the regional bank tumbled over solvency concerns.

In the broad market, declinig issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly the same on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plunged 12 points to 663.

Opening Bell Report

|
The markets opened mostly higher on hopes that the U.S. government can help stabilize the mortgage lending industry.  The Dow rose 39 points to 11,139 while Nasdaq held steady at 2238.

On the upside

Anheuser Busch (NYSE: BUD) agreed to a sweetened $52 billion takeover bid from Inbev to create the world's largest brewer and the 4th-largest consumer product company.

The Treasury and the Federal Reserve said that they would provide credit to Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) and Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) which hold a combined $5.3 trillion in mortgage debt.

Republic Services (NYSE: RSG) received a $6.19 billion all-cash offer from Waste Management (NYSE: WMI), the nation's largest garbage hauler and landfill operator.

On the downside

John Bovenzi, the chief operating officer of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., has taken over IndyMac (NYSE: IMB) as its new CEO.  The financial services company collapsed after depositors made a run on the bank last week.

Shares of Lehman Brothers (NYSE: LEH) fell to a 20-year low as its cost of debt protection rose.  Meanwhile, many analysts concluded that emergency funding from the government to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would not extend to investment banks.

Internet portal Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) turned down the latest offer to sell its search operations to Microsoft (NYSE: MSFT).  Billionaire investor Carl Icahn had offered a competing slate of board members at Yahoo's upcoming board meeting.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a slim margin on the NYSE, but were outpaced by a margin of nearly 5 to 4 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 4 points to 669.

Closing Bell Report

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Despite government reassurances that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will have access to capital, the markets tumbled to a lower close with the Dow plummeting 128 points to 11,101.  Nasdaq dropped 19 points to 2239.

On the upside

Robert W. Baird analyst William Power upgraded Syniverse Holdings (NYSE: SVR) saying that the company's valuation is attractive.

Bargain hunters lifted shares of Intermec (NYSE: IN), which tumbled yesterday after the security technology provider cut its second quarter guidance and announced the elimination of 260 jobs.

Robert W. Baird upgraded Mueller Water (NYSE: MWA) earlier this week.

On the downside

Shares of mortgage insurers Radian Group (NYSE: RDN) and PMI Group (NYSE: PMI) fell over concerns about the solvency of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

DineEquity (NYSE: DIN) reported lower same store sales at its Applebee's restaurants prompting the company to cut its full year sales outlook for the chain.

Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD) blamed refinancing costs for lowering its fiscal 2009 outlook.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 10 to 9 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 5 points to 675.

Mid-Day Report

|
Concerns about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's solvency sent the markets tumbling during the midday with the Dow plummeting 233 points to 10,996.  Nasdaq skidded 46 points to 2212.

On the upside

Diamond Management & Technology Consultants (Nasdaq: DTPI) released preliminary first quarter results that surpassed expectations.

Rising gold prices lifted shares of Goldcorp (NYSE: GG).

The consortium led by URS (NYSE: URS) was chosen as a preferred bidder for a five year contract to decommission a nuclear power plant in the United Kingdom.

On the downside

While first quarter earnings for Infosys Technologies (Nasdaq: INFY) rose to surpass estimates, the information technology provider forecast disappointing second quarter results.

UAL (Nasdaq: UAUA) warned that it will record accounting charges between $2.6 billion to $2.7 billion in the second quarter.

Shares of FCStone Group (Nasdaq: FCSX) continued to fall after reporting lower third quarter earnings that fell short of estimates.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by 5 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks dropped 7 points to 663.

Opening Bell Report

|
The markets opened lower under the weight of record high oil prices and mortgage-related woes.  The Dow lost 94 points to 11,134 while Nasdaq dropped 20 points to 2237.

On the upside

Shares of Hercules (NYSE: HPC) leaped after the specialty chemical company received a $2.6 billion cash and stock offer from Ashland (NYSE: ASH).

InBev NV reportedly raised its takeover offer Anheuser-Busch (NYSE: BUD) after the brewery rejected the original $65 a share offer.

The oil sector rebounded with shares of Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK) rising.

On the downside

An erosion in investor confidence triggered a collapse in the shares of Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) and Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) making it nearly impossible to raise new capital.

Shares of Lehman Brothers (NYSE: LEH) fell to an 8-year low on worries of its exposure to mortgage-related securities.

Microchip assembly and test company Amkor Technology (Nasdaq: AMKR)  lowered its 2nd quarter guidance due to production problems.

In the broad market, declining 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 3 points to 667.

Closing Bell Report

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Merger and acquisition news lifted the markets to a higher close with the Dow climbing 82 points to 11,229.  Nasdaq surged 23 points to 2258.

On the upside

Florida Power & Light (Nasdaq: FPL) hired SunPower (Nasdaq: SPWR) to build a 25-watt solar power plant and a 10-megawatt plant.

Casual dining chain Ruby Tuesday (NYSE: RT) forecast fiscal 2009 results ahead of analyt expectations.

Continental Resources (NYSE: CLR) reported promising results from a second well at its Bakken shale site in MacKenzie County, North Dakota.

On the downside

Chinese communications equipment company Cogo Group (Nasdaq: COGO) blamed soft demand and strong competition for warning of margin pressure.

Moody's Investors Service slashed the senior debt rating of mortgage insurer MGIC Investment (NYSE: MTG).

Shares of Entercom Communications (NYSE: ETM) plunged to a 52-week low after Citigroup downgraded the radio broadcasting company.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 10 to 9 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 4 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 7 points to 670.

Mid-Day Report

|
The markets gave up most of its earlier gains as investors focused on the ongoing turmoil among financial services companies.  The Dow lost 9 points to 11,137 while Nasdaq added 8 points to 2243.

On the upside

Shares of Excel Technology (Nasdaq: XLTC) soared after GSI Group (Nasdaq: GSIG) offered nearly $350 million in cash to buy the industrial laser marking systems maker.

Shares of chicken producers Sanderson Farms (Nasdaq: SAFM) and Pilgrim's Pride (NYSE: PPC) surged as analysts upgraded the sector due to its low valuation.

Shares of Alcoa (NYSE: AA) rebounded after the 3rd-largest aluminum producer posted lower profits that beat estimates.

On the downside

Shares of embattled investment bank Lehman Brothers Holdings (NYSE: LEH) tumbled to a 8-year lows as the cost of debt protection rose and investors continued to worry about mortgage-related losses.

Wachovia Corp. (NYSE: WB) named a new CEO, but analysts slashed their share price targets on the Charlotte-based bank.

Sports apparel and equipment retailer Zumiez (Nasdaq: ZUMZ) reported a larger than expected drop in same-store sales for the month of June.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 5 to 4 on the NYSE, but were outpaced by a margin of 5 to 4 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks climbed 2 points to 669.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened higher on better than expected retail sales reports and a major buyout in the chemicals sector.  The Dow surged 47 points to 11,194 while Nasdaq leaped 16 points to 2251.

On the upside

Shares of Rohm & Haas (NYSE: ROH) soared after Dow Chemical (NYSE: DOW) offered more than $15 billion to buy the rival chemical maker.

Restaurant operator Ruby Tuesday (NYSE: RT) posted 4th quarter results that beat expectations and raised its outlook for 2009.

California Pizza Kitchen (Nasdaq: CPKI) raised its 2nd quarter guidance due to strong preliminary sales results.

On the downside

Former St. Louis Federal Reserve President William Poole was quoted by Bloomberg warning that Mortgage lenders Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) and Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) may be insolvent.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT) posted higher June same-store sales and raised its 2nd quarter earnings forecast.  However, investors had hoped for higher targets due a shift in consumer spending to discount merchandise.

Shares of FCStone (Nasdaq: FCSX) tumbled after the commodity risk management firm missed 3rd quarter profit expectations.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 5 to 4 on the NYSE, but were outpaced by a margin of 5 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 2 points to 665.

Closing Bell Report

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Earnings concerns weighed down the markets to a sharply lower close with the Dow plunging 237 points to 11,147.  Nasdaq plummeted 60 points to 2235.

On the upside

MercadoLibre (Nasdaq: MELI) chief executive announced that a prearranged trading plan has been terminated.

Circor International (NYSE: CIR) upbeat sales at its energy and thermal fluids buisness for raising its second quarter guidance.

Shares of Schering-Plough (NYSE: SGP) rose after an analyst speculated that additional clinical data to be released for its cholesterol treatment Vytorin will be neutral or positive.

On the downside

Hansen Natural (Nasdaq: HANS) warned that convenience store sales are softening.

Renewed concerns that Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) and Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) must raise additional capital sent shares of the mortgage finance companies tumbling.

Lehman Brothesr downgraded Tronox (NYSE: TRX) saying that expenses for process chemicals as well as transportation and energy costs are surging.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks skidded 19 points to 664. 

Mid-Day Report

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The markets trimmed some of its losses during the midday but continued to trade in negative territory with the Dow slipping 6 points to 11,378 as oil prices rebounded.  Nasdaq lost 4 points to 2291.

On the upside

UBS upgraded Steel Dynamics (Nasdaq: STLD) and maintained a $41 price on the steel products company.

American Oriental Bioengineering (NYSE: AOB) priced its private placement offering of senior convertible notes.

SGX Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SGXP) will be acquired by Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY) for approximately $64 million.

On the downside

Investment Technology Group (NYSE: ITG) announced that trading volume rose in June from year ago levels after a drop in May.

Mattson Technology (Nasdaq: MTSN) blamed a weak semiconductor sector for lowering its outlook for the second quarter.

A rebound in oil prices weighed down shares of Northwest Airlines (NYSE: NWA).

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 4 on the NYSE while decliners barely edged out advancers on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks eased a fraction to 682

Opening Bell Report

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Iranian missle tests sparked a rebound in oil prices.  The markets opened lower with the Dow dropping 43 points to close at 11,341 while Nasdaq fell 15 points to finish the session at 2280.

On the upside

QLogic (Nasdaq: QLGC) lifted its first quarter revenue and earnings outlook above analyst expectations.

UBS upgraded Nucor (NYSE: NUE) after the steel producer completed its $658 million acquisition for 50% of the joint venture Duferdofin-Nucor S.r.l.

Cleveland-Cliffs (NYSE: CLF) lifted its sales guidance for iron ore and declared a quarterly dividend of 8.75 cents payable on September 2 to shareholders of record August 15.

On the downside

Arris Group (Nasdaq: ARRS) blamed disappointing sales of its voice enabled cable modems for lowering its second quarter outlook.

Wolverine World Wide (NYSE: WWW) reported higher second quarter earnings and revenue that surpassed estimates but investors were disappointed that the company merely reaffirmed its 2008 outlook rather than raising it.

Despite higher revenue, Premier Exhibitions (Nasdaq: PRXI) reported a loss for the first quarter due to higher expenses and legal fees prompting a downgrade.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 10 to 9 on the NYSE and by more than 7 to 5 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks eased a fraction to 682.

Closing Bell Report

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Oil prices retreated for a second day in a row from record highs as investors snapped up bargains in the financial services sector.  The Dow surged 152 points to close at 11,384 while Nasdaq soared 51 points to finish the session at 2294.

On the upside

Shares of Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) and Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) rebounded on hopes that the Federal Reserve bank may intervene and prevent foreclosures by extending its lending efforts to investment banks.

PriceSmart (Nasdaq: PSMT) which operates shopping warehouse clubs in Central America and the Caribbean posted 3rd quarter profits that doubled.

Stage Stores (NYSE: SSI) reported higher same-store sales in June.  The clothing and accessories retailer affirmed its 2nd quarter outlook.

On the downside

VMware (NYSE: VMW) abruptly replaced its co-founder CEO without explanation.  Shares of controlling shareholder EMC (NYSE: EMC), a data storage company, also fell.

Shares of Chevron (NYSE: CVX) and United States Oil (NYSE: USO) fell as oil prices retreated.

Shares of InterDigital (Nasdaq: IDCC) tumbled after the U.S. International Trade Commission issued a nonbinding ruling against the wireless technology developer in a patent dispute against Samsung Electronics.

In the broad market, advancing issues edged out 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 surged 24 points to close at 682.

Mid-Day Report

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Fed chief Ben Bernanke's comments that the central bank may offer emergency loans to investment banks boosted the markets during the midday with the Dow climbing 35 points to 11,267.  Nasdaq gained 13 points to 2256.

On the upside

Shares of Radian Group (NYSE: RDN) continued to climb after announcing yesterday that David Applegate, the president of its mortgage insurance unit, will be replaced by Teresa Bryce.

Desalination device maker Energy Recovery (Nasdaq: ERII) announced that radiation-chemistry pioneer Paul M. Cook will join its board.

Altair Nanotechnologies (Nasdaq: ALTI) announced that its two megawatt battery system successfully completed a demonstration and validation program.

On the downside

June sales for flat panel display maker AU Optronics (Nasdaq: AUO) fell due to the weak economy.

Orient-Express Hotels (NYSE: OEH) entered a strategic partnership with The Related Group to develop and operate hotels and luxury residences in South Beach Miami, Cartagena and Panama City.

Shares of EMC (NYSE: EMC), the majority owner of VMware (NYSE: VMW), tumbled after VMware warned that 2008 revenue will miss expectations and announced the immediate departure of president and chief executive Diane Greene to be replaced by former Microsoft executive Paul Maritz. 

In the broad market, declining issues edged out advancers by a margin of nearly 10 to 9 on the NYSE while advancers outpaced decliners by more than 7 to 5 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 6 points to 665.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened modestly higher with the Dow adding 25 points to 11,257 over comments by Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke that loans to investment banks may be extended.  Nasdaq gained 14 points to 2257.

On the upside

Retreating oil prices lifted shares of American Airlines parent AMR (NYSE: AMR), Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) and US Airways Group (NYSE: LCC) .

Shares of Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) rose ahead of the launch of the company's iPhone 3G this Friday.

Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS) paid $10.4 billion in cash to complete the first stage of its acquisition of Alcon (NYSE: ACL).

On the downside

Century Aluminum (Nasdaq: CENX) will pay majority shareholder Glencore $1.7 billion in order to cancel fixed price sales contracts.

Office Depot (NYSE: OPD) warned that same store sales will drop 10% due to the weak economy.

VMware (NYSE: VMW) warned that 2008 revenue will miss expectations and announced the immediate departure of president and chief executive Diane Greene to be replaced by former Microsoft executive Paul Maritz. 

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners 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 added a point to 659.

Closing Bell Report

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Concerns that Fannie Mae may have to raise $46 billion while Freddie Mac may have to raise $29 billion sent the markets down to a lower close with the Dow falling 57 points to 11,232.  Nasdaq slipped 2 points to 2243.

On the upside

Credit Suisse analyst Mark Connelly upgraded Smurfit-Stone Container (Nasdaq: SSCC) citing the company's valuation.

Goldman Sachs analyst Judy E. Hong upgraded Hansen Natural (Nasdaq: HANS) due to strong sales of energy drinks.

Greater than expected revenue prompted pawnshop and cash advance company Cash America (NYSE: CSH) to lift its second quarter outlook.

On the downside

Shares of First Horizon National (Nasdaq: FHN) tumbled after Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co. analyst Paul J. Miller Jr. said in a client note that losses to residential construction loans will continue growing.

Virtusa (Nasdaq: VRTU) forecast first quarter results below expectations saying that a major client did not approve the costs for some projects that the company already started to work on.

Crystal River Capital (NYSE: CRZ) slashed its quarterly dividend from 68 cents per share to 30 cents per share payable on July 28 to shareholder of record June 30. 

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks tumbled 8 points to 658.

Mid-Day Report

|
The markets traded in negative territory during the midday with the Dow dropping 47 points to 11,241 despite retreating oil prices.  Nasdaq fell 7 points to 2238.

On the upside

Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) stock rose over prospects that Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) may renew its acquisition offer.  Microsoft isued a statement saying that it may reopen negotiations if a new board is elected.

In an effort to regain its AA rating for its mortgage insurance business, Radian Group (NYSE: RDN) named Teresa Bryce to replace David Applegate as president of the company's mortgage insurance unit.

Ambac Financial (NYSE: ABK) will seek approval from insurance regulators to capitalize its Connie Lee subsidiary with an $850 million contribution.

On the downside

Interactive Intelligence (Nasdaq: ININ) warned that second quarter earnings will fall short of expectations due to disappointing sales.

The credit default swaps, or the cost to insure debt, of Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) and Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) both climbed approximately 10 basis points.

Analysts downgraded Marshall & Ilsley (NYSE: MI) after the regional bank warned of a second quarter loss. 

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 tumbled 9 points to 657.

Opening Bell Report

|
A flurry of merger and acquisition news lifted the markets to a higher open with the Dow climbing 55 points to 11,343 while Nasdaq surged 24 points to 2270.   The U.S. dollar strengthened while oil prices pulled back from record levels.

On the upside

Shares of U.S. generic drug maker APP Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: APPX) surged after the company received a $3.7 billion cash offer from Germany-based Fresenius SE.

NBC Universal (NYSE: GE), Blackstone Group (NYSE: BX) and Bain Capital LLC offered $3.5 billion in cash to buy The Weather Channel.

China National Offshore Oil Corp.'s oil-services company (NYSE: CEO) offered about $2.5 billion for Norway's Awilco Offshore ASA.

On the downside

Bankrate (Nasdaq: RATE) lowered its 2nd quarter outlook and reduced its full-year estimates due to a slowdown in its display advertising business.

Catapult Communications (Nasdaq: CATT) lowered its revenue outlook due to slower spending among its telco customers.

An analyst downgraded Noven Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: NOVN) which develops transdermal drug delivery technologies. 

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose 4 points to 669.

Market Holiday Report

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The U.S. markets closed for the Independence Day holiday.  Consumers are expected to stay close to home and change holiday travel plans due to higher gasoline prices.

Closing Bell Report

|

It was a mixed close for the markets on a shortened holiday trading session as oil prices edged up while service sector activity contracted.  The Dow climbed 73 points to 11,289 while Nasdaq dropped 6 points to 2245.

On the upside

Ambac Financial's (NYSE: ABK) plan to buy back up to $50 million in common shares has been approved by the board of directors.

Shares of MiddleBrook Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: MBRK) recovered after yesterday's sell off that was sparked by the company's acceptance of $100 million investment from Equity Group Investments.

The state of Tennessee included rate increases in the renewal of its contract with health insurer Amerigroup (NYSE: AGP).

On the downside

Acme Packet (Nasdaq: APKT) blamed delays in client contracts for warning that second quarter results will fall short of estimates.

As expected, Fortress Investment Group LLC (NYSE: FIG) and private equity firm Centerbridge Partners LP withdrew their $5.82 billion takeover offer of casino operator Penn National Gaming (Nasdaq: PENN) due to lengthy litigation.

Zions Bancorp (NYSE: ZION) successfully placed $45.7 million in non cumulative perpetual preferred stock.

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 dropped 7 points to 666.

Opening Bell Report

|

The markets opened lower for a shortened holiday trading session.  Investors focused on rising unemployment and record high oil prices.  The Dow rose 40 points to 11,268 while Nasdaq slipped 3 points to 2247.

On the upside

An RBC Capital Markets analyst raised his opinion on communications-tower operators.  Shares of American Tower (NYSE: AMT), Crown Castle (NYSE: CCI) and SBA (Nasdaq: SBAC) rose.

Chindex International (Nasdaq: CHDX) announced preliminary approval by Chinese regulatory agencies for the sales and marketing of laser surgical equipment.

Shares of Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) rose on revived acquisition talks by Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) and a consortium of media companies, according to media reports.

On the downside

Shares of Nvidia (Nasdaq: NVDA) tumbled after the graphics chip maker lower its 2nd quarter revenue outlook.

As expected, Fortress Investment Group LLC (NYSE: FIG) and private equity firm Centerbridge Partners LP withdrew their $5.82 billion takeover offer of casino operator Penn National Gaming (Nasdaq: PENN) due to lengthy litigation.

Shares of Aetna (NYSE: AET) fell to a multi-year low after an analyst downgraded the health insurance provider due to falling profit margins.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 5 to 4 on the NYSE, but were narrowly edged out on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks inched up a point to 673.

Closing Bell Report

|

Despite a modest gain in factory orders, the markets plunged to close sharply lower as crude oil prices climbed to settle at a record high of $143.57 per barrel.  The Dow skidded 167 points to 11,216 while Nasdaq plummeted 54 points to 2251.

On the upside

Bayer paid $90 million to purchase Maxygen's (Nasdaq: MAXY) hemophilia treatment.  The deal includes up to $30 million in milestone payments.

Shares of Energy Recovery (Nasdaq: ERII) surged on its first trading day.

Lehman Brothers Holdings (NYSE: LEH) will be paying its employees with more stock, an announcement that reassured investors that the company will not sell itself below its current price.

On the downside

UTStarcom Inc. (Nasdaq: UTSI) announced the sale of its cell phone distribution unit for approximately $240 million to AIG Investments.

Although Acuity Brands (NYSE: AYI) reported higher third quarter earnings that beat expectations, the lighting equipment maker warned of a challenging environment for the fourth quarter.

A drop in coal prices in Europe weighed down shares of Consol Energy (NYSE: CNX).

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 5 to 2 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plummeted 19 points to 672.

Mid-Day Report

|

A modest gain in factory orders boosted the Dow 48 points to 11,430.  Nasdaq eased a point to 2304.

On the upside

For-profit education company Apollo Group (Nasdaq: APOL) reported higher third quarter earnings that surpassed expectations as enrollment rose.

Bargain hunters lifted shares of SanDisk (Nasdaq: SNDK).  Shares of the flash memory chip maker tumbled yesterday after Pacific Crest Securities analyst Kevin Vassily lowered his earnings estimates for both the second quarter as well as the full year.

Increased revenue lifted third quarter earnings for Family Dollar Store (Nasdaq: FDO) to beat estimates prompting the discount store operator to boost it fourth quarter outlook.

On the downside

James River Coal (Nasdaq: JRCC) will pay $40 million in cash and stock to acquire coal reserves and permits from Cheyenne Resources.

An analyst downgraded Dollar Thrifty Automotive (NYSE: DTG) after the company warned that full year results will fall short of expectations.

Merrill Lynch downgraded General Motors (NYSE: GM) while Citi Investment Research analyst Itay Michaeli lowered his price target for the automaker.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 10 to 9 on the NYSE and by more than 7 to 5 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks dropped 5 points to 687.

Opening Bell Report

|

The markets opened higher as investors awaited key economic reports and Thursday's decision on interest rates by the European Central Bank.  The Dow rose 31 points to 11,413 while Nasdaq added 5 points to 2310.

On the upside

Shares of Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) rose on hopes that Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) may make a joint bid with other media companies to acquire the beleaguered Internet portal.

Health insurer UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) agreed to pay $895 million to settle lawsuits over its stock option practices and to take a one-time charge.

Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX) announced plans to cut 600 underperforming locations while cutting 12,000 jobs.  The coffee retailer also announced up to $348 million in charges related to the closures.

On the downside

Drug maker MiddleBrook Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: MBRK) will take a $100 million investment from Equity Group Investments LLC and replace its management team.

Aladdin Knowledge Systems (Nasdaq: ALDN) lowered its 2nd quarter outlook.  The Israel-based maker of computer security products blamed the weak global economy and unfavorable exchange rates for the expected shortfall.

Shares of Circuit City Stores (NYSE: CC) fell after Blockbuster (NYSE: BBI) withdrew its offer to buy the consumer electronics chain.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 6 to 5 on the NYSE, but were even on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped a point to 690.

Closing Bell Report

|

The markets recovered in the afternoon to close modestly higher with the Dow gaining 32 points to 11,382 as construction spending fell less than expected.  Nasdaq climbed 12 points to 2305.

On the upside

Bargain hunters lifted shares of American Axle & Manufacturing (NYSE: AXL).  Yesterday, Fitch Ratings lowered its rating for the auto parts supplier citing declining sales of large pickups and SUVs.

The first shipment of liquid food waste was delivered to Converted Organics' (Nasdaq: COIN) new fertilizer processing facility in New Jersey.

Shares of Colonial Bancgroup (NYSE: CNB) recovered after falling yesterday when Russell Investments moved the financial services firm from the large cap Russell 1000 to the small cap Russell 2000.

On the downside

Valence Technology (Nasdaq: VLNC) reported a quarterly loss.

SuperGen (Nasdaq: SUPG) reported that its bone marrow disorder medication Dacogen failed a late stage clinical trial.

Radian Group (NYSE: RDN) announced that it will move $107 million from its bond insurance business to its mortgage insurance unit.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 7 to 5 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 2 points to 692.

Mid-Day Report

|

Rising oil prices along with a drop in construction spending weighed down the market during the midday with the Dow dropping 74 points to 11,276.  Nasdaq tumbled 11 points to 2282.

On the upside

Myriad Genetics (Nasdaq: MYGN) stock rebounded after yesterday's drop when the biotechnology company announced that development of its Alzheimer's drug Flurizan will end.

Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ) reported higher first quarter earnings that surpassed expectations as revenue rose.

VeraSun Energy (NYSE: VSE) named Duane Gilliam to the chairman position replacing Gordon Ommen who resigned.

On the downside

Canaccord Adams analyst Jonathan Dorsheimer downgraded Emcore (Nasdaq: EMKR) saying that demand from a major client is overstated.

Although Alliance One International (NYSE: AOI) swung to a profit for the year, the company warned that supply and demand will tighten.

Smithfield Foods (NYSE: SFD) will raise $350 million through the offering of convertible senior notes.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plunged 11 points to 679.

Opening Bell Report

|

The markets opened lower as investors continued to worry about soaring oil prices.  The Dow lost 33 points to 11,316 while Nasdaq fell 6 points to 2288.

On the upside

Shares of Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) rose after AT&T (NYSE: T) announced plans to sell the new version of the iPhone without a service contract for $400 more than the price with a 2-year plan.

A Morgan Stanley analysts raised his opinion of Lehman Brothers (NYSE: LEH) on a book value basis.

CIT Group (NYSE: CIT) announced the sale of its home lending business to Lone Star Funds for $1.5 billion and  assigned $4.4 billion of debt and other liabilities.

On the downside

Car rental company Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group (NYSE: DTG) blamed the weak economy for reduced revenue and profit targets.

An analyst downgraded Lee Enterprises (NYSE: LEE) which owns newspapers in 23 states.

Shares of Fortune Brands (NYSE: FO) tumbled after the maker of spirits and home products lowered its 2nd quarter outlook.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 3 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped 2 points to 687..

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