September 2008 Archives

Closing Bell Report

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Bargain hunters boosted the markets to a sharply higher close after yesterday's sell-off with the Dow rocketing 485 points to 10,851.  Nasdaq jumped 99 points to 2082.

On the upside

After selling most of its banking operations to Citigroup (NYSE: C) yesterday, Wachovia (NYSE: WB) reassured investors that the remaining businesses including retirement services, asset management and retail brokerage were well capitalized.

Goldman Sachs analyst James Mitchell said that Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) stock oversold and maintained his Buy rating as well as his $98 target price for the online retailer.

JMP Securities analyst Samuel Wilson upgraded Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) citing the company's valuation after yesterday's sell-off.

Thornburg Mortgage (NYSE: TMA) announced the elimination of 29 positions in its lending unit.

On the downside

The PMI Group (NYSE: PMI) announced that it will terminate all excess-of-loss reinsurance arrangements on January 1, 2009.

Shares of VeraSun Energy (NYSE: VSE) retreated.  The stock surged yesterday over speculation that the ethanol producer would be acquired.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks leaped 22 points to 680.

Mid-Day Report

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The markets extended its gains during the midday over optimism that congressional leaders will hammer out a palatable bailout package.  The Dow soared 276 points to 10,642 while Nasdaq leaped 64 points to 2048.

On the upside

A judge ruled that Hexion Specialty Chemicals must complete its acquisition of Huntsman (NYSE: HUN).

Shares of National City (NYSE: NCC) recovered after yesterday's collapse as congressional leaders attempted to revive negotiations for the failed bailout package.

Despite a downgrade by Robert W. Baird & Co. analyst David George, Fifth Third Bancorp (Nasdaq: FITB) surged.

On the downside

While A. P. Pharma (Nasdaq: APPA) reported that its drug for chemotherapy induced nausea met the main goal of a late stage clinical trial, the treatment failed to demonstrate superiority over a rival drug.

Allied Capital (NYSE: ALD) unit Ciena Capital filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection saying that the value of its assets have plunged due to the financial crisis.

Shares of OfficeMax (NYSE: OMX) tumbled as consumers spent less for discretionary items.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 4 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks climbed 9 points to 666.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened higher as lawmakers attempted to revive the $700 billion rescue package.  The Dow soared nearly 200 points to 10,555 while Nasdaq rose 45 points to 2028.

On the upside

Conexant Systems (Nasdaq: CNXT) raised its profit outlook due to the semiconductor company's efforts to control costs.  Revenues are expected to stay steady.

Shares of Sovereign Bancorp (NYSE: SOV) rose following a Wall Street Journal report that the bank may name a new chief executive officer.

Mortgage insurer Genworth Financial (NYSE: GNW) may spin off some of its riskier businesses.

On the downside

Reliant Energy (NYSE: RRI) lowered its outlook having raised $1 billion in new capital.

Shares of Circuit City Stores (NYSE: CC) fell below $1 a share after an analyst downgraded the consumer electronics retailer.

Fitch Ratings lowered the financial outlook for Hartford Financial (NYSE: HIG) due to a drop in value of assets held by the insurer.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by 6 to 5 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose 5 points to 663.

Closing Bell Report

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In a stunning rebuke of President Bush, the House rejected the $700 billion bailout package sparking a broad sell off which sent the markets into a tailspin.  The Dow posted its largest one-day drop in history by collapsing 778 points to 10,365.  Nasdaq skidded 200 points to 1984.

On the upside

Panicked investors lifted shares of Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX) after the House rejected the $700 billion bailout package and sparked a broad sell-off.

Hilb Rogal & Hobbs (NYSE: HRH) shareholders approved the proposed merger between the insurance and risk management company and British insurer Willis Group Holdings (NYSE: WSH).

On the downside

Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) announced that it secured a $12.6 million Navy contract to convert a Harrier aircraft for use at night time as well as a $13.6 million contract for engineering changes on the F-18 but the stock price tumbled after the House rejected the $700 billion bailout package.

Shares of Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) dropped even as crude oil prices retreated and the Department of Defense awared the airliner a $57.6 million contract to ship cargo overseas.

The rejection of the $700 billion bailout package sent shares of regional banks Fifth Third Bancorp (Nasdaq: FITB), FirstFed Financial (NYSE: FED) and KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY) plunging.

In the broad market, declining issues overwhelmed advancers by a margin of more than 15 to 1 on the NYSE and by 6 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plummeted 47 points to 658.

Mid-Day Report

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The markets extended its losses during the midday as lawmakers prepared to vote on the $700 billion bailout plan.  The Dow skidded 266 points to 10,877 while Nasdaq plummeted 96 points to 2088.

On the upside

Shares of Downey Financial (NYSE: DSL) rose over optimism that the $700 billion bailout plan before Congress will save the savings and loan from bankruptcy.

BankAtlantic Bancorp (NYSE: BBX) on Friday declared a quarterly dividend of 2.5 cents per share payable on October 17 to shareholders of record October 3.

Last week, The Finish Line (NYSE: FINL) reported that it reversed year ago losses to post a better than expected profit for the second quarter.

On the downside

Despite reassurances from the regional bank that it is better capitalized than Washington Mutual, shares of National City (NYSE: NCC) lost nearly half their value over fears that it may be the next to file for bankruptcy protection.

Although first quarter revenue rose for Cal-Maine Foods (NYSE: CALM), earnings tumbled as feed expenses climbed.

Nervous investors fearful of further bank failures sent shares of Sovereign Bancorp (NYSE: SOV) plunging even though an analyst upgraded the bank.

In the broad market, declining issues overwhelmed advancers by a margin of more than 10 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plummetd 25 points to 679.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened sharply lower as investors awaited lawmakers' approval of an unpopular $700 billion rescue package to revive the financial services sector.   The Dow tumbled more than 250 points to 10,875 while Nasdaq tumbled 80 points to 2103.

On the upside

Foot Locker (NYSE: FL) offered $102 million to buy Delias (Nasdaq: DLIA) to boost the shoe retailer's appeal among teenage skateboarders.

Analysts upgraded their opinion of DirecTV Group (NYSE: DTV) whose satellite TV services are being resold by AT&T (NYSE: T).

Shares of Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) and Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) bucked market trends and edged higher after the nation's two biggest mortgage finance companies received subpoenas that open investigations into potential fraud.

On the downside

Citigroup (NYSE: C) worked with the FDIC to acquire the banking operations of Wachovia (NYSE: WB) agreeing to share the risk of potential mortgage portfolio losses.  Wachovia stock which traded at $10 a share on Friday were valued at approximately $1 a share.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) received a lifeline through Japan's Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group which will invest $9 billion for a 21% stake in the U.S. investment bank.

An analyst downgraded Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) due to an expected decline in consumer spending.

In the broad market, declining issues overwhelmed advancers by a margin of more than 8 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 20 points to 684.

Closing Bell Report

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It was a mixed close for the markets as the Dow rebounded in late afternoon trading even as congressional leaders continued intense negotiations to hammer out a bailout plan.  The Dow soared 121 points to 11,143 while Nasdaq lost 3 points to 2183.

On the upside

Interactive Brokers Group (Nasdaq: IBKR) forecast third quarter results ahead of expectations and announced a plan to repurchase up to 8 million shares of common stock.


Surging revenue boosted second quarter earnings for AZZ (NYSE: AZZ) to surpass estimates by a wide margin prompting the electrical products maker to forecast full year results above expectations.

A rumor circulated that Citigroup (NYSE: C) may be interested in purchasing Wachovia (NYSE: WB).

On the downside

Brazilian food company Sadia (NYSE: SDA) said that it lost $406 million, the amount of its annual earnings, due to volatile currency markets.

Motorola (NYSE: MOT) failed to get a class action lawsuit filed by shareholders dismissed .

Shares of Braziliam mining company Vale (NYSE: RIO) dropped despite reassurances from CEO Roger Agnelli that the company is in a good market position and can weather the global financial storm.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by 7 to 5 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks eased a point to 705.

Mid-Day Report

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The markets traded lower during the midday after federal regulators seized Washington Mutual and lawmakers attempted to restart failed bailout discussions.  The Dow fell 30 points to 10,992 while Nasdaq tumbled 25 points to 2162.

On the upside

Oshkosh (NYSE: OSK) said that earnings in the current quarter will come in at or above the previously forecast range and expects to reduce debt as well.


Merrill Lynch raised its credit rating on Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) and lifted its earnings estimates through 2010 saying that the bank is experiencing strong revenue growth.

Goldman Sachs analyst Steven Kent expects International Game Technology (NYSE: IGT) to announce a restructuring plan that will improve its profit margin.

On the downside

Savient Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SVNT) will file for regulatory approval of its gout treatment Puricase even though the company has not found a partner to develop and markets the drug.

Shares of National City (NYSE: NCC) plunged after Washington Mutual failed and negotiations for the bailout plan stalled.

Despite reassurances from CEO John Mack that discussions for an equity investment in the company from Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group are ongoing, shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) dropped.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks dropped 12 points to 694.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened lower as investors worried about the financial meltdown with Washington Mutual became the largest bank failure in U.S. history.  The Dow dropped 56 points to 10,965 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq plunged 30 points to 2156.

On the upside

Indevus Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: IDEV) announced plans to resubmit its testosterone boosting treatment to the FDA.


Synnex Corp. (NYSE: SNX) posted higher revenues and earnings as a business services provider.

Gold prices rose as investors reshuffled their portfolios.  Shares of Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX) and Yamana Gold (NYSE: AUY) edged higher.

On the downside

Washington Mutual (NYSE: WM) was seized by regulators and its deposits were sold to JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) for $1.9 billion.

Shares of Wachovia (NYSE: WB) fell sharply as investors worried about more fallout from the subprime mortgage crisis.

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) posted strong results, but investors worried about the company's tempered guidance.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers 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 lost 9 points to 696.

Closing Bell Report

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The announcement that a tentative agreement has been reached by lawmakers for the $700 billion bailout plan lifted markets to a higher close with the Dow leaping 197 points to 11,022.  Nasdaq surged 31 points to 2187.

On the upside

Power supplies maker Cherokee International (Nasdaq: CHRK) was acquired in a $105 million all cash deal by Gores Group unit Lineage Power Holdings.

Shares of Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) and JP Morgan (NYSE: JPM) all rose as congressional leaders reached an agreement for the $700 billion bailout plan.

Rumors that Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) will eliminate additional jobs in its efforts to reduce costs by an additional $800 million lifted shares of the pharmaceutical.

On the downside

Ameron International (Nasdaq: AMN) disappointed with lower third quarter earnings that missed expectations due to the economic slowdown.

American International Group (NYSE: AIG) must receive approval from the New York Insurance Department before selling any parts of its business.

Shares of Downey Financial (NYSE: DSL) fell as investors locked in profits.  The stock price more than tripled after the company named a new chief executive on Monday.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by more than 7 to 5 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks climbed 8 points to 706.

Mid-Day Report

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Investors hopeful that lawmakers are close to finalizing the details of the $700 billion bailout plan lifted the markets higher during the midday with the Dow rocketing 265 points to 11,090.  Nasdaq jumped 43 points to 2199.

On the upside

Pharmacopeia (Nasdaq: PCOP) agreed to be acquired by Ligand Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: LGND) in a deal valued at approximately $70 million.

Longbow upgraded Owens-Illinois (NYSE: OI) to Buy from Neutral.

TOP Ships (Nasdaq: TOPS) entered an exclusivity agreement to negotiate a possible sale of the tanker and dry bulk shipment company to an affiliate of George Economou.


On the downside

CRA International (Nasdaq: CRAI) reported sharply lower third quarter earnings that fell short of expectations due to lower revenue from the management and financial consulting company's finance litigation unit.

First quarter earnings for Texas Industries (NYSE: TXI) tumbled to miss estimates by a wide margin as cement sales dropped.

Shares of Washington Mutual (NYSE: WM) continued to drop after Standard & Poor's Ratings Services further downgraded the Seattle based thrift's counterparty credit rating yesterday.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks climbed 10 points to 708.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened higher as U.S. regulators and lawmakers edged closer toward putting together a $700 billion  rescue plan for banks.  The Dow surged nearly 200 points to 11,020 while Nasdaq soared 40 points to 2195.

On the upside

Shares of Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) and Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) topped the most actives as investors hoped that the two lenders would benefit from the government bailout program.

Intel (NYSE: INTC) will make an early payment to chip developer Transmeta (Nasdaq: TMTA) for the right to use its technology.

Shares of Research in Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) rose ahead of its earnings report due later today.  Analysts expect strong results due to sales of its new BlackBerry mobile devices.


On the downside

General Electric (NYSE: GE) lowered its guidance due to weakness in the company's financial business which contributes nearly half of GE's profits.  Shares of the Dow component traded sharply lower.

Shares of Capital One Financial (NYSE: COF) fell after the company raised $686 million to shore up its balance sheet.

Shares of Pilgrim's Pride (NYSE: PPC) lost nearly half its value after the chicken producer warned that a significant 4th quarter loss may lead them to default on one of its debt covenants.

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 climbed 8 points to 705.

Closing Bell Report

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The markets closed mixed despite Buffet's $5 billion investment into Goldman Sachs as legislators continued grappling with details of the $700 billion bailout plan.  The Dow fell 29 points to 10,825 while Nasdaq added 2 points to 2156.

On the upside

Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: VRTX) released details of a midstage clinical trial that affirmed the positive results for its hepatitis C treatment telaprevir.

An appeals court upheld a jury verdict that Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM) violated two of Broadcom's (Nasdaq: BRCM) patents.

Investors snapped up shares of Micron Technology (NYSE: MU), which recently fell after Oppenheimer downgraded the memory chip maker.


On the downside

James River Coal (Nasdaq: JRCC) announced the offering of 1.5 million shares of common stock.

Pilgrim's Pride (NYSE: PPC) announced the elimination of an additional 100 jobs on top of the 600 that have already been cut.

Standard & Poor's Ratings Service further downgraded Washington Mutual's (NYSE: WM) credit rating into junk status as a sale of the entire company diminishes.  S&P expects the thrift to be sold in pieces.


In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 3 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added plunged 11 points to 698.

Mid-Day Report

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Investors welcomed Warren Buffett's $5 billion investment in Goldman Sachs as a vote of confidence in the economy.  The markets rose in the midday with the Dow adding 16 points to 10,870 and Nasdaq climbing 14 points to 2167.

On the upside

Shares of Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) and Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) rose despite a report by The Associated Press of a possible FBI fraud investigation.

Washington Mutual (NYSE: WM) stock rose even as the cost to insure its debt climbed overnight from 54.3%to 61.5%.

Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) will repurchase up to an additional 25 million shares of common stock.


On the downside

According to a report by The Associated Press, the FBI is investigating American International Group (NYSE: AIG) for possible fraud.

JP Morgan analyst John Bridges downgraded Coeur d'Alene Mines (NYSE: CDE) after the company ended its exploration of alternative waste plans for an Alaskan mine.

Medicis Pharmaceutical (NYSE: MRX) warned that it may restate financials from 2002 through 2008 due to errors in the manner in which returned product costs were calculated.


In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 4 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added slipped 2 points to 707.

Opening Bell Report

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Warren Buffett's $5 billion bet on Goldman Sachs boosted the markets at the opening bell while lawmaker continued to debate about the $700 billion bailout proposed by regulators.  The Dow rose 13 points to 10,866.  Nasdaq added 6 points to 2159.

On the upside

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A) offered to buy $5 billion in preferred stock of Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) while securing warrants to purchase an additional $5 billion worth of common shares over five years.

Shares of Sequenom (Nasdaq: SQNM) surged after the company reported a perfect series of Downs syndrome screening tests.

Wind and solar energy companies were boosted by a Senate bill that provided for more than $17 billion in renewable energy tax incentives.  Shares of Energy Conversion Devices (Nasdaq: ENER) and SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq: SPWR) soared.


On the downside

Medicis (NYSE: MRX) announced the restatement of its financials from 2003 to 2007.  The specialty pharmaceutical company offers dermatological products.

Coal producer James River Coal (Nasdaq: JRCC) announced the sale of at least 1.5 million shares in a public offering.

National Financial Partners (NYSE: NFP) reported lower revenues due to a decline in insurance underwriting activity.


In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers 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 added a fraction to 710.

Closing Bell Report

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The markets closed lower despite retreating oil prices after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned that a recession was certain without the $700 billion bailout plan.  The Dow plummeted 162 points to 10,854 while Nasdaq plunged 26 points to 2153.

On the upside

Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) announced that its global investment unit Intel Capital will pay $20 million to acquire an unspecified stake in Telligent Systems.

The American Antitrust Institute recommended that the deal between Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) should proceed with certain limits.

Despite a late afternoon sell off of financial stocks, shares of National City (NYSE: NCC) rose to close higher.


On the downside

One of Energy Conversion's (Nasdaq: ENER) largest clients cut its guidance citing financial crisis in the U. S along with the expiration of the Investment Tax Credit.

Shares of Avis Budget Group (NYSE: CAR) tumbled after rival Dollar Thrifty Automotive's (NYSE: DTG) earnings warning.

Aircastle (NYSE: AYR) announced that it entered a five year $206.6 million senior secured debt facility.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plunged 11 points to 709.

Mid-Day Report

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The markets erased early morning gains to trade lower after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned that a recession was certain without the $700 billion bailout plan.  The Dow dropped 71 points to 10,944 while Nasdaq fell 11 points to 2168.

On the upside

MannKind (Nasdaq: MNKD) reported upbeat late stage clinical trial results for its inhaled insulin system for Type 1 diabetes patients.

Downey Financial (NYSE: DSL), which posted a second quarter loss of $218.9 million, named Charles Rinehart to the position of chief executive replacing interim CEO Thomas Prince.

Shares of Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) rose to lead telecoms higher.


On the downside

Piper Jaffray analyst Neely J. N. Tamminga downgraded specialty retailer Chico's FAS (NYSE: CHS) citing weak mall traffic and increased markdowns.

One of Hanger Othopedic Group's (NYSE: HGR) largest shareholders will sell 2.5 million shares of the company.

Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group (NYSE: DTG) warned that third quarter results will be hurt by vehicle depreciation costs, falling revenue and the bankruptcy of one of the company's tour operators.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 7 to 5 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks tumbled 6 points to 715.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened higher as economic officials and U.S. lawmakers wrestled with the details of the $700 billion financial bailout while oil prices retreated modestly.  The Dow rose 81 points to 11,097 while Nasdaq climbed 19 points to 2198.

On the upside

Facing an ongoing housing slump as one of the nation's largest homebuilders, Lennar Corp. (NYSE: LEN) posted 3rd quarter losses that beat expectations while revenues fell by half.

American International Group (NYSE: AIG) prepared for an emergency sale of assets in order to start paying off the $85 billion Federal Reserve loan.

Rebuffed Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) raised its offer to $4.7 billion to buy biotech company ImClone Systems (Nasdaq: IMCL).


On the downside

The financial services sector was mixed as investors worried about the timeliness and effectiveness of the $700 billion rescue plan.  Shares of Wachovia (NYSE: WB) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) fell.

Women's apparel retailer Cache (Nasdaq: CACH) lowered its outlook due to slow sale of dresses and temporary store closings caused by bad weather.   Analysts promptly downgraded the stock.

Analysts downgraded General Electric (NYSE: GE) due to weakness in its financial operations.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a small margin on both the NYSE and Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a point to 721.

Closing Bell Report

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Uncertainty over the impact of the $700 billion government bailout plan sparked a run up in oil prices with a barrel of crude oil surging $16.37 to settle at $120.92.  The markets plunged to close sharply lower with the Dow plummeting 373 points to 11,016 while Nasdaq stumbled 95 points to 2179.

On the upside

Rising gold prices lifted shares of Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX), Goldcorp (NYSE: GG) and Gold Fields (NYSE: GFI) .


Fairfax Financial (NYSE: FFH) disclosed that it has realized cash proceeds of $574.5 million for the third quarter from the sale fo $3.22 billion of credit default swaps. 

China TechFaith Wireless Communication Technology (NYSE: CNTF) signed a strategic cooperation agreement with digital products brand aigo to develop total solutions products for the operator tailored market in China.


On the downside

In order to reduce expenses, Angiotech Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ANPI) will close a plant, eliminate jobs and delay the launch of a new product.  The company also warned that private equity deal may fall apart.

Shares of Huntington Bancshares (Nasdaq: HBAN) tumbled over concerns that despite the $700 billion bailout, the underlying problems of a troubled housing market persist.

Concerns that the government bailout plan will not be enough to rescue the ailing housing market sent shares of mortgage insurer MGIC Investment (NYSE: MTG) plummeting.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 3 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plummeted 33 points to 720.

Mid-Day Report

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The markets extended its losses during the midday with the Dow plunging 170 points to 11,218 as investors await further details about the $700 billion government bailout plan.  Nasdaq skidded 44 points to 2230.

On the upside

McAfee (NYSE: MFE) will acquire Secure Computing (Nasdaq: SCUR) in a cash and stock deal valued at approximately $465 million.


Wary investors sought refuge in precious metals to lift silver prices higher.  Shares of Silver Wheaton (NYSE: SLW) climbed. 

Constellation Energy Group (NYSE: CEG) will receive $1 billion in cash from Berkshire Hathaway's MidAmerican Energy Holdings as part of its agreement to be acquired by MidAmerican Energy.


On the downside

Shares regional banks Regions Financial (NYSE: RF) and Marshall & Ilsley (NYSE: MI) fell as investors digest the government's $700 billion bailout plan.

The Wall Street Journal reported that potential suitors of Washington Mutual (NYSE: WM) are insisting that the government provide assistance to facilitate a deal.

Friedman, Billings, Ramsey analyst James Abbott downgraded Sovereign Bancorp (NYSE: SOV) after the company reported $254 million in unrealized losses from the sale of its portfolio of collateralized debt obligation.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plummeted 21 points to 732.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened lower with the Dow falling 131 points to 11,256 while Nasdaq lost 30 points to 2243.  Investors were wary about the government's plan to prop up the banking sector by buying $700 billion in mortgage debt.

On the upside

Shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) rose on the possibility of an equity investment by Mitsubishi UFJ.


Nike (NYSE: NKE), Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) all announced stock buyback programs.

Robert Willumstad, the former CEO of American International Group (NYSE: AIG), turned down a $22 million severance payment citing his inability to execute a restructuring plan.  Investor response on message boards were positive.


On the downside

Shares of exchange-traded futures and options broker MF Global (NYSE: MF) fell despite management stating that it had no "material exposure" to bankrupt Lehman Brothers.

The financial services sector gave up much of Friday's gains.  Shares of Genworth Financial (NYSE: GNW) and Wachovia (NYSE: WB) fell sharply.

An analyst downgraded Netapp (Nasdaq: NTAP) whose shares edged toward 52-week lows.  The company provides data storage systems to businesses.

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 13 points to 740.

Closing Bell Report

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The markets extended yesterday's rally to close sharply higher with the Dow soaring 369 points to 11,388 as investors embraced the federal government's plan to purchase bad debt from banks.  Nasdaq jumped 75 points to 2274.

On the upside

Homebuilder stocks rose over the federal government's plan to purchase mortgage related debt that has soured.  Shares of Standard Pacific (NYSE: SPF), DR Horton (NYSE: DHI) and Lennar Corp. (NYSE: LEN) all surged. 

Despite a ratings downgrade by Moody's Investors Service, shares of Fifth Third Bancorp (Nasdaq: FITB) soared as the SEC banned the shorting of financial stocks and the government announced a rescue plan for troubled banks.

Although National City (NYSE: NCC) was removed from the Dow Jones Global Select Dividend 100 Index as well as the Dow Jones STOXX Global Select Dividend 100 Index, shares of the regional bank rose on the SEC's ban on short selling financial stocks and the government's plan to purchase bad debt from banks.


On the downside

Opexa Therapeutics (Nasdaq: OPXA) reported disappointing midstage trial results for its multiple sclerosis treatment Tovaxin.

Concerns that the financial crisis will negatively impact consumer spending weighed down shares of HSN (NYSE: HSN), which sells products through the television and on its website.

Moody's Investors Service warned that Ambac Financial's (NYSE: ABK) insurance unit may be downgraded.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners 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 leaped 30 points to 754.

Mid-Day Report

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The markets surged during the midday with the Dow jumping 442 points to 11,461 as the federal government outlined plans to address the financial crisis.  Nasdaq leaped 78 points to 2277.

On the upside

PMI Group (NYSE: PMI) declared a quarterly dividend of 25 cents per common share payable on October 15 to shareholders of record September 30. 

Shares of troubled insurer American International Group (NYSE: AIG) soared as the government announced plans to rescue banks with bad debt while the SEC banned the short selling of nearly 800 financial stocks.

An SEC ban on the short selling of nearly 800 financial stocks lifted shares of Wachovia (NYSE: WB), Merrill Lynch (NYSE: MER), and Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) .


On the downside

Palm (Nasdaq: PALM) widened first quarter losses despite higher revenue and the smartphone maker warned that second quarter revenue drop.

Friedman Billings Ramsey downgraded OfficeMax (NYSE: OMX) after the office supplies retailer disclosed ties to bankrupt Lehman Brothers.

Moody's Investors Service placed MBIA's (NYSE: MBI) insurance unit under review.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 8 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 4 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 25 points to 748.

Opening Bell Report

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A U.S. government rescue package to stabilize the banking industry combined with an SEC ban against the shorting of 799 financial stocks triggered a major rally at the opening bell.  The Dow soared more than 300 points to 11,365 while Nasdaq leaped nearly 100 points to 2295.

On the upside

Investors snapped up shares of Washington Mutual (NYSE: WM) on an expected takeover of the nation's largest savings.  Citigroup (NYSE: C) was identified as the likely suitor by a number of news sources.

Shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) soared nearly 50% as prospects improved for the investment banker.

Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) posted earnings that beat expectations.  Analysts promptly upgraded the software maker.


On the downside

Shares of Synutra International (NYSE: SYUT) fell to a new 52-week low as investors continued to worry about links between the Chinese maker of baby formula to recent melamine contaminations.

Sycamore Networks (Nasdaq: SCMR) reported a narrow loss.  The network infrastructure company also posted lower revenue numbers.

Airline stocks lagged the rest of the market as oil prices edged higher.  Shares of UAL (Nasdaq: UAUA) and AMR (NYSE: AMR) were down slightly.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 8 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks leaped 33 points to 756.

Closing Bell Report

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A report indicating that the federal government is considering creating an entity to handle the bad debt of banks boosted investor sentiment to send the markets soaring to close sharply higher with the Dow leaping 410 points to 11,020.  Nasdaq skyrocketed 100 points to 2199.

On the upside

Shares of mortgage insurer MGIC Investment (Nasdaq: DISCK) surged after a report indicated that the government may create an entity to handle banks' bad debt. 

Conseco chief executive Jim Prieur (NYSE: CNO) reassured investors that the insurance company has adequate liquidity despite holding $19.3 million in securities from Lehman Brothers, $49.9 million from American International Group and $34 million from Washington Mutual.

First Marblehead (NYSE: FMD) anounced the departure of four executives and a director while the troubled student lender restructures.


On the downside

Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK) terminated its collaboration agreement with SurModics (Nasdaq: SRDX).

Johnson & Johnson's (NYSE: JNJ) psoriasis treatment ustekinumab was more effective than Wyeth (NYSE: WYE) and Amgen's (Nasdaq: AMGN) Enbrel in a late stage clinical trial.

Bloomberg reported that the Bank of New York Mellon's (NYSE: BK) Institutional Cash Reserves fund dropped below $1 due to holdings in Lehman Brothers.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks skyrocketed 47 points to 724.

Mid-Day Report

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The markets pared its early morning gains but continued trading in positive territory during the midday with the Dow climbing 89 points to 10,698 as financial services firms pursued merger deals to stay afloat.  Nasdaq soared 22 points to 2121.

On the upside

Shares of Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCK) surged on its first day of trading as a public company. 

Although advertising sales in publishing tumbled for Media General (NYSE: MEG), the company said that in terms of overall revenue, August was the best month so far this year.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is pursuing merger discussions with Wachovia (NYSE: WB).


On the downside

Investors concerned that the slumping housing market will adversely affect Genworth Financial (NYSE: GNW) sent shares of the mortgage insurer tumbling.

Shares of State Street (NYSE: STT) plunged over worries that the company will again write-down billions in unrealized securities losses.  The company has written down over $6 billion in the first two quarters.

Shares of Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) continued to fall after reporting its worst quarterly profit since the world's largest investment bank went public in 1999.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 3 to 2 on the NYSE while advancers edged out decliners by 10 to 9 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 5 points to 682.

Opening Bell Report

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Bargain hunters lifted the markets to a higher open after yesterday's collapse with the Dow surging 169 points to 10,779.  Nasdaq leaped 38 points to 2137.

On the upside

The New York Times reported that Washington Mutual (NYSE: WM) hired Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) to sell itself. 

Rising crude oil prices lifted shares of Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM).

Bargain hunters snapped up shares of Verasun Energy (NYSE: VSE) after analyst downgrades sent the stock price tumbling.


On the downside

Capstone Turbine (Nasdaq: CPST) will raise approximately $29.5 million through the offering of common stock and warrants.

Real estate investment trust ProLogis (NYSE: PLD) blamed business development delays for lowering its full year guidance prompting a downgrade.

Oil and gas services company Tetra Technologies (NYSE: TTI) withdrew its 2008 earnings outlook due to damage inflicted by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 3 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks climbed 9 points to 686.

Closing Bell Report

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The government's $85 billion bailout of insurer AIG two days after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers rattled investor confidence to send the markets plummeting to close sharply lower with the Dow collapsing 449 points to 10,610.  Nasdaq skidded 109 points to 2099.

On the upside

Silver prices climbed to lift shares of Coeur d'Alene Mines (NYSE: CDE) and Silver Standard Resources (Nasdaq: SSRI) as investors sought refuge from the financial services sector. 

Shares of gold producers Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX), Goldcorp (NYSE: GG) and Kinross Gold (NYSE: KGC) surged as nervous investors sought stability in gold.

Broadpoint Capital upgraded Hoku Scientific (Nasdaq: HOKU) after the company announced a $227 million deal to provide polysilicon to Tianwei New Energy Wafer in China.


On the downside

Insurer Conseco (NYSE: CNO) revealed that it holds nearly $20 million in securities from Lehman Brothers, nearly $50 million from American International Group and $34 million from Washinton Mutual.

Shares of Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), maker of the iPhone, and BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) tumbled after T-Mobile announced the September 23 launch of the first phone to be powered by Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android software.

Concerns that turmoil in the financial services sector will weigh down General Electric's (NYSE: GE) finance business unit sent shares of GE tumbling.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 13 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 6 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plummeted 34 points to 676.

Mid-Day Report

|

The markets extended its losses during the midday with the Dow skidding 292 points to 10,767 as investors digested the govenment's $85 billion bailout of AIG.  Nasdaq stumbled 70 points to 2138.

On the upside

Ambac (NYSE: ABK) disclosed that its exposure to Lehman Brothers (NYSE: LEH) was insignificant with no direct exposure to the failed investment bank's financial guarantee or financial services investment portfolio. 

The Food and Drug Administration approved Mylan's (NYSE: MYL) generic version of Johnson & Johnson's (NYSE: JNJ) bipolar disorder and schizophrenia treatment Risperdal.

Citigroup analyst Timothy Arcuri upgraded Evergreen Solar (Nasdaq: ESLR) while lowering his earnings outlook after the solar power products company clarified its exposure to bankrupt Lehman Brothers.


On the downside

Oppenheimer Research analyst Joseph Gomes Jr. downgraded VeraSun Energy (NYSE: VSE) after the ethanol maker warned of a third quarter loss of at least $63 million and announced a publice offering of 20 million shares.

Nortel Networks (NYSE: NT) blamed the global economic slowdown for lowering its fiscal 2008 guidance.

Canadian rating agency DBRS lowered its rating on Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) to negative citing earnings pressure due to turmoil in the financial services sector.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 13 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plummeted 31 points to 680.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened lower as investors mulled over a government bailout of AIG and a disappointing drop in new home construction in August.   The Dow tumbled 180 points to 10,876.  Nasdaq lost 39 points to 2167.

On the upside

Shares of SanDisk (Nasdaq: SNDK) rose sharply after the memory chip maker rejected a $5.85 billion offer from Samsung Electronics. 

Constellation Energy (NYSE: CEG) hired investment bankers to review strategic alternatives while reaffirming its full-year outlook.

The U.K.'s Lloyds (NYSE: LYG) may buy troubled mortgage lender HBOS which owns Halifax and Bank of Scotland.


On the downside

Shares of American International Group (NYSE: AIG) tumbled after the federal government injected $85 billion into the troubled insurer for a 79.9% stake.

The future of Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) as an independent company was in question as investors worried that the investment bank may have more loss exposure to mortgage-backed securities.

Shares of Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) fell ahead of its Thursday's earnings report which may miss expectations due to a strong dollar trimming overseas results.

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 dropped 14 points to 696.

Closing Bell Report

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The markets surged to close sharply higher with the Dow soaring 142 points to 11,059 despite the Federal Reserve's decision to hold interest rates steady as crude oil retreated and consumer prices eased.  Nasdaq jumped 28 points to 2208.

On the upside

American Commercial Lines (Nasdaq: ACLI) forecast third quarter earnings well above analyst estimates.

Revlon (NYSE: REV) completed its 1-for-10 reverse stock split.

Retreating oil prices lifted shares of Deltal Air Lines (NYSE: DAL), Northwest Airline (NYSE: NWA) and American Airlines parent AMR (NYSE: AMR).


On the downside

After competitor Sanlu Group was forced to recall its tainted infant formula in China, shares of Synutra International (Nasdaq: SYUT) plummeted over concerns that its formula also contains the chemical melamine.

Although Constellation Energy (NYSE: CEG) reassured investors that the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy will have no adverse effects on the utility, investors were concerned that banks may withdraw its credit lines.

The Federal Reserve's decision to leave interest rates unchanged weighed down shares of Home Depot (NYSE: HD).

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 6 to 5 on the NYSE while advancers outpaced decliners by nearly 7 to 5 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks leaped 21 points to 711.

Mid-Day Report

|

The markets recovered during the midday to trade modestly higher with the Dow rising 36 points to 10,953 over speculation that the Fed may cut interest rates.  Nasdaq added 4 points to 2184.

On the upside

CBRL Group (Nasdaq: CBRL) blamed higher expenses for lower fourth quarter earnings but the results topped analyst expectations.

Shares of Merrill Lynch (NYSE: MER) surged as investors embraced the acquisition of the investment banker by Bank of America (NYSE: BAC).

Rumors that JP Morgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) opened negotiations to purchase Washington Mutual (NYSE: WM) lifted shares of the beleagured thrift.


On the downside

Particle Drilling Technologies (Nasdaq: PDRT) announced that its latest commercial field trial failed to improve on the results of a previous trial.  The company also announced intentions to explore strategic alternatives including the possible sale of the company.

An analyst downgraded Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) after fellow investment bank Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) reported a sharp 70% drop in third quarter earnings.

Consumer electronics retailer Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) disappointed with lower second quarter earnings that fell short of estimates.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 4 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 5 points to 695.

Opening Bell Report

|

The markets opened lower despite retreating oil prices and easing consumer prices as investors struggled to deal with turmoil in the financial services industry. The Dow dropped 76 points to 10,841 while Nasdaq plummeted 27 points to 2153.

On the upside

Although Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) announced that it will take a third quarter charge due to investments in senior unsecured notes and preferred securities issued by bankrupt Lehman Brothers (NYSE: LEH), analysts said that the company's exposure is less than other financial institutions.

Citi Investment Research analyst Joshua Shanker upgraded Chubb (NYSE: CB) saying that the property and casualty insurer will gain market share in the wake of American International Group's  (NYSE: AIG) troubles.

Amgen (Nasdaq: AMGN) reported upbeat trial results for its experimental osteoporosis treatment denosumab.


On the downside

Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) warned that global demand for information technology products will continue to weaken in the current quarter.

Shares of American International Group (NYSE: AIG) continued to plunge after S&P, Moody's and Fitch all cut their ratings on the world's largest insurer.

Third quarter earnings for Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) plummeted 70% as the company reported over $800 million in losses from defaults on real estate assets.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plunged 9 points to 681.

Closing Bell Report

|

The markets reeled from the bankruptcy filing of Lehman Brothers and the sale of investment firm Merrill Lynch to Bank of America to close sharply lower with the Dow collapsing 504 points to 10,918.  Nasdaq skidded 51 points to 2210.

On the upside

Longs Drug Stores (NYSE: LDG) received a $3 billion buyout offer from Walgreens (NYSE: WAG).  The price was higher than the $2.9 billion bid made by CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS) last month.

UBS analyst Kevin Crissey upgraded AirTran Holdings (NYSE: AAI) saying that falling oil prices will boost earnings.  The airline also announced that flights to Houston Hobby International Airport will resume.

Putnam Managed Municipal Income Trust (NYSE: PMM) renewed its repurchase program for closed-end funds and announced the approval by its board to merge two closed-end funds into open-end funds.


On the downside

Lehman Brothers (NYSE: LEH) underwrote the senior note offering in July by Evergreen Solar (Nasdaq: ESLR) but the solar products company reassured investors that none of the proceeds from the sale are on deposit with Lehman.

JA Solar Holdings (Nasdaq: JASO) warned that solar prices are expected to drop between 8% to 10% in 2009.

Meruelo Maddux Properties (Nasdaq: MMPI) will repurchase up to $10 million worth of common stock.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 15 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 6 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plummeted 31 points to 690.

Mid-Day Report

|

The bankruptcy filing of Lehman Brothers rattled investor confidence to send the markets plummeting during the midday with the Dow collapsing 326 points to 11,096.  Nasdaq skidded 51 points to 2210.

On the upside

United Airlines (Nasdaq: UAUA) announced a fee increase from $25 to $50 to check a second bag on a domestic flight.  The fee is expected to raise revenue by $700 million in 2009.

Vishay Intertechnology (NYSE: VSH) paid $35.2 million to acquire the Wet Tantalum assets of KEMET Corp. (NYSE: KEM).

Citi Investment Research analyst Chip Dillon affirmed his Buy rating for AbitibiBowater (NYSE: ABH) and narrowed his full year loss estimate for the newprint maker.


On the downside

Shares of Axcelis Technologies (Nasdaq: ACLS) plunged to all time lows after Sumitomo placed its discussions to acquire the semiconductor equipment maker on hold.

Although GFI Group (Nasdaq: GFIG) reassured investors that it has no material exposure to Lehman Brothers (NYSE: LEH), which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, shares of the brokerage services provider plummeted.

The Wall Street Journal reported that sales of Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone has dropped and total sales will fall far short of the expected one million units that Apple expected to sell.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 9 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 7 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plunged 15 points to 705.

Opening Bell Report

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The meltdown in the financial services and insurance sectors hammered stocks across the board.  Meanwhile, oil prices tumbled below $95 a barrel.  The Dow lost more than 260 points at the opening bell to 11,155 while Nasdaq plummeted 50 points to 2210.

On the upside

Shares of Merrill Lynch (NYSE: MER) climbed higher after the investment bank agreed to a hasty offer by Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) in an all-stock acquisition to stave off a Lehman-like meltdown in its balance sheet.

Consumer electronics retailer Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) offered about $125 million in cash to buy music-sharing site Napster (Nasdaq: NAPS).

Airline stocks rose as oil prices continued to fall.  Shares of Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) and AMR Corporation (NYSE: AMR) were among the few gainers in the broad market.


On the downside

Shares of Lehman Brothers (NYSE: LEH) became worthless after the venerable investment bank failed to find a buyer or partners over the weekend in an emergency meeting and filed for bankruptcy.

Investors punished American International Group (NYSE: AIG) on fears that the insurance giant may be unable to secure capital.

Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS) withdrew its offer to buy Take Two Interactive Software (Nasdaq: TTWO) after the video game maker rejected the bid as too low.

In the broad market, declining issues swamped advancers by a margin of more than 10 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 6 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks fell 14 points to 706.

Closing Bell Report

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Although oil prices retreated, the markets closed mixed as uncertainty over Lehman Brothers' future weighed on investors.  The Dow slipped 12 points to 11,422 while Nasdaq added 3 points to 2261.

On the upside

Questcor Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: QCOR) named Gary Sawka to replace George Stuart as chief financial officer.  Stanford Research and Soleil both initiated coverage of the pharmaceutical with a Buy rating.

Radian Group (NYSE: RDN) announced that it will continue insuring loans for Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) and Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE).

Shares of Agnico-Eagle Mines (NYSE: AEM) surged as gold prices climbed.


On the downside

Diodes (Nasdaq: DIOD) said that third quarter income will be at the low end of its forecast range due to the slowdown in the economy.

Morgan Keegan downgraded Buffalo Wild Wings (Nasdaq: BWLD) citing valuation concerns.

Qiao Xing Mobile Communications (NYSE: QXM) disappointed with sharply lower earnings and revenue due to the delayed release of it new VEVA S60 as well as a drop in sales after the devastating Sichuan earthquake.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 4 to 3 on the NYSE while decliners edged out advancers by nearly 10 to 9 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a point to 720.

Mid-Day Report

|

The markets traded lower during the midday as the possibility of a Lehman Brothers failure appeared more likely.  The Dow plummeted 110 points to 11,323 while Nasdaq tumbled 15 points to 2243.

On the upside

Shares of Valero Energy (NYSE: VLO) rose along  with crude oil prices rose as Hurricane Ike approached Texas.

In an SEC filing, chemical company Huntsman (NYSE: HUN) said that American Appraisal believes that Hexion Specialty Chemicals' purchase of Huntsman will create a solvent company.  Hexion is suing to free itself of its buyout agreement.

Rising gold prices lifted shares of Goldcorp (NYSE: GG) and Yaman Gold (NYSE: AUY) .


On the downside

PharmaNet Development Group (Nasdaq: PDGI) slashed its full year outlook due to the cancellation of $19 million worth of contracts.

Analysts downgraded Panera Bread (Nasdaq: PNRA) citing the quick rise in its share price.

Shares of Merrill Lynch (NYSE: MER) dropped over concerns that the investment bank may face liquidity issues of its own.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 10 to 9 on the NYSE and by nearly 7 to 5 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped 2 points to 717.

Opening Bell Report

|

Amid ongoing uncertainty in the financial services sector, the markets opened lower as August retail sales fell.  The Dow dropped more than 100 points to 11,325 while Nasdaq lost 20 points to 2237.

On the upside

Engineering and construction company Foster Wheeler (Nasdaq: FWLT) announced a $750 million share buyback program.

Shares of Ford Motor (NYSE: F) rose after its Volvo car unit accelerated the timetable for job cuts.

Spain's Telefonica announced plans to offer nearly $1 billion to buy the remainder of Telefonica Chile (NYSE: CTC).


On the downside

Restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) blamed the weak economy and rising costs for lower same-store sales and lowered its 3rd quarter outlook.

Rumors swirled about possible buyers for Lehman Brothers (NYSE: LEH) whose shares continued to fall as investors anticipated a nominal price for the entire company.

Shares of insurance giant American International Group (NYSE: AIG) dropped sharply to weigh down the Dow.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 6 points to 712.

Closing Bell Report

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The markets recovered in afternoon trading to close sharply higher with the Dow leaping 165 points to 11,434 as interest rates for a 30-year mortgage dropped and rumors swirled that Bank of America may acquire beleagured Lehman Brothers.  Nasdaq soared 30 points to 2258.

On the upside

China Precision Steel (Nasdaq: CPSL) will host a conference call to discuss its fourth quarter as well as its full year results at 9am EDT on September 16.

Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM) reassured investors that demand for the 3G continues to be healthy.

A proposed $25 billion federal loan program to assist automakers in modernizing their plants lifted shares of General Motors (NYSE: GM) and Ford (NYSE: F) .

On the downside

Ardour Capital downgraded Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide (Nasdaq: QTWW) after the company reported a wider operating loss.

Sunrise Senior Living (NYSE: SRZ) swung to a loss for the second quarter despite higher revenue as the company wrote-off $27.7 million in abandoned project costs.

Although the Food and Drug Administration lifted its clinical hold on Novacea's (Nasdaq: NOVC) prostate cancer treatment Asentar, the company will no longer develop the drug.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 4 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 2 points to 719.

Mid-Day Report

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Continued concerns about the stability of the financial services sector weighed down the markets during the midday with the Dow tumbling 79 points to 11,190.  Nasdaq lost 6 points to 2222.

On the upside

Heavy equipment maker Joy Global (Nasdaq: JOYG) doubled its stock repurchase plan from $1 billion to $2 billion while extending the expiration date from the end of this year to the end of 2011.

Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) warned that its mainline domestic capacity will drop by 2.9% in the third quarter and by 4.5% for the year but that new baggage fees should bring in $100 million a year.

AvondalePartners analyst Blair King upgraded BigBand Networks (Nasdaq: BBND) saying that demand will increase for its products.

On the downside

Kenexa (Nasdaq: KNXA) blamed delayed business developments for lowering both its third quarter as well as its full year outlook prompting a downgrade.

Concert promoter Live Nation (NYSE: LYV) will launch a ticketing service of its own after its agreement with Ticketmaster (Nasdaq: TKTM) expires at the end of 2008.

InterDigital (Nasdaq: IDCC) forecast third quarter revenue below analyst expectations.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks fell 4 points to 713.

Opening Bell Report

|

The markets opened lower as investors worried about a strong hurricane approaching the Texas coast and the ongoing turmoil in the financial services sector.  The Dow lost more than 100 points to 11,162 while Nasdaq gave up 11 points to 2217.

On the upside

Covidien (NYSE: COV) raised its sales outlook for 2009.  The medical device maker and diversified health care company was spun off from Tyco International (NYSE: TYC) last year.

Canadian sportswear maker Lululemon Athletica (Nasdaq: LULU) reported higher profits and same-store sales while reaffirming its outlook for the year.

Allergan (NYSE: AGN) released a study showing that its popular Botox wrinkle-smoother may relieve chronic migraine.

On the downside

Investors worried about a possible 3rd quarter loss for American International Group (NYSE: AIG), the world's largest insurer and a Dow component.

Shares of Lehman Brothers (NYSE: LEH) tumbled as analysts downgraded the troubled investment bank.  The selloff affected shares of other companies in the financial services sector, including Merrill Lynch (NYSE: MER) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS).

Investors continued to unload shares of Washington Mutual (NYSE: WM) on worries of a likely default on loans, according to a Reuters report.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 3 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 13 points to 703.

Closing Bell Report

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The markets retreated from earlier highs but managed to close in the positive as oil prices continued to slip and investors digested Lehman Brothers' plan to raise much needed capital.  The Dow gained 38 points to 11,269 while Nasdaq climbed 19 points to 2229.

On the upside

Converted Organics (Nasdaq: COIN) announced that use of its organic Liquid Concentrate fertilizer resulted in increased yields and quicker growth of cranberries when compared with the use of conventional fertilizers.

A Wall Street Journal article said that Micron Technology (NYSE: MU) is poised to increase it market share.

Stanford Research upgraded Ultra Petroleum (NYSE: UPL).

On the downside

Photon Dynamics (Nasdaq: PHTN) said that it is awaiting clearance for its merger with Orbotech from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S.  The committee has until September 29 to respond.

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods downgraded Fifth Third Bancorp (NYSE: FITB).

Concerns about the health of the financial services sector weighed down shares of Citigroup (NYSE: C), Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), and Wachovia (NYSE: WB).

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 4 on the NYSE and by 9 to 7 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 10 points to 717.

Mid-Day Report

|

Lehman Brothers announced plans to raise capital lifting the markets higher during the midday with the Dow soaring 99 points to 11,330.  Nasdaq leaped 21 points to 2230.

On the upside

Bargain hunters lifted shares of Steel Dynamics (Nasdaq: STLD) whose stock price has been falling since Goldman Sachs downgraded the steel sector last week.

Sanofi-Aventis (NYSE: SNY) named GlaxoSmithKline executive Chris Viehbacher as its new chief executive, replacing current CEO Gerard Fur in December.

Vishay Intertechnology (NYSE: VSH) increased its all cash offer for power management semiconductor maker International Rectifier (NYSE: IRF) to $1.7 billion.

On the downside

Sirius XM Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI) warned that subscriber growth will fall below analyst expectations.

Shares of Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS) tumbled after the Nevada Gaming Control Board reported a sharp 13% drop in gambling revenue in July from a year ago.

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods analyst Jefferson Harralson downgraded Synovus Financial (NYSE: SNV) citing the bank's exposure to housing markets in Atlanta and West Florida.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 10 to 9 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 4 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks climbed 5 points to 712.

Opening Bell Report

|

The markets opened higher after Lehman Brothers offered an early update of its quarterly losses and efforts to sell off assets.   The Dow rose more than 50 points to 12,888  while Nasdaq surged 21 points to 2231.

On the upside

Lehman Brothers (NYSE: LEH) pre-announced a $3.9 billion loss for the quarter and stated that it was close to a deal to sell off a majority stake in its investment management business.  The stock edged higher in early trading after tumbling 40% yesterday.

Biotechnology company ImClone Systems (Nasdaq: IMCL) announced that it has a received a $70 a share offer from a large pharmaceuticals company which topped the $60 a share offer from Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY).

Shares of Massey Energy (NYSE: MEE) rebounded after an analyst's downgrade triggered a sell-off yesterday.

On the downside

S&P downgraded the outlook for Washington Mutual (NYSE: WM) to negative which sent its shares tumbling to new multi-year lows.  A lower rating causes the bank's borrowing costs to increase.

Shares of Brokerage GFI Group (Nasdaq:GFIG) fell after it ended talks to merge with Tullett Prebon, a provider of real-time commodity pricing.

Tyson Foods (NYSE: TSN) planned to offer 20 million shares at $12.75 apiece.  Investors worried that the convertible senior notes would dilute the stock which traded lower.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose 5 points to 712.

Closing Bell Report

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Fears that Lehman Brothers may be the next bank to fail sparked a broad sell-off that sent the markets skidding to a sharply lower close with the Dow collapsing 280 points to 11,231.  Nasdaq plummeted 60 points to 2210. 

On the upside

Privately held Tripos International will pay approximately $57 million in cash to acquire pharmaceutical software maker Pharsight (Nasdaq: PHST).

OfficeMax (NYSE: OMX) unveiled plans to sell a line of fashionable office supply products.

Although overall sales of recreational vehicles plunged in July, Thor Industries (NYSE: THO) increased its market share.

On the downside

Concerns of an oversupply of solar panels weighed down shares of Evergreen Solar (Nasdaq: ESLR), Canadian Solar (Nasdaq: CSIQ) and JA Solar Holdings (Nasdaq: JASO).

Thomas G. Conforti, the chief financial officer of DineEquity (NYSE: DIN), resigned effective immediately after market closed on Monday.

Merrill Lynch downgraded Wachovia (NYSE: WB) and lowered its price target for the bank despite reassurances from Wachovia that it will reduce its exposure to securities and outstanding loans by $20 billion this year.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 4 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks skidded 26 points to 707.

Mid-Day Report

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Despite falling oil prices, the markets retreated during the midday over concerns that Lehman Brothers may not be able to raise capital.  The Dow plunged 103 points to 11,408 while Nasdaq plummeted 26 points to 2244. 

On the upside

Finisar (Nasdaq: FNSR) reversed year ago losses to report a profit for the first quarter that surpassed analyst expectations.

Recruiter Korn/Ferry International (NYSE: KFY) reported lower first quarter earnings despite higher revenue as expenses rose.  The results topped expectations.

Signature Bank (Nasdaq: SBNY) will raise capital through the sale of 4.7 million shares of common stock priced at $29 per share.

On the downside

Citi Investment Research analyst Michael Rollins downgraded Tw Telecom (Nasdaq: TWTC) after the voice and data services provider warned that the weak economy is pressuring its revenue.

Although a tax benefit lifted second quarter earnings for The Pep Boys - Manny, Moe & Jack (NYSE: PBY), revenue dropped to fall short of expectations.

Concerns about hurricane damage weighed down shares of insurer American International Group (NYSE: AIG).

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks tumbled 8 points to 725.

Opening Bell Report

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The major indexes opened higher with the Dow rising 28 points to 11,538 and Nasdaq gaining 11 points to 2281.  The broad markets were mixed as investors and analysts debated the merits of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bailouts. 

On the upside

Surgical systems maker Cardica (Nasdaq: CRDC) received FDA approval for its fast, automated system that creates secure connections between the main artery and vein grafts.

McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) reported higher same-store sales with non-U.S. markets driving most of the growth for the world's largest fast food chain.

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) was upgraded by an analyst which helped to lift the overall tech sector.

On the downside

Shares of Lehman Brothers (NYSE: LEH) fell on reports that state-run Korea Development Bank may no longer be interested by buying part or all of the beleaguered investment bank.

Timber real estate investment trust Potlatch (NYSE: PCH) was downgraded by analysts.

Shares of Terra Industries (NYSE: TRA) and Monsanto (NYSE: MON) fell sharply in a broad sell-off among fertilizer companies.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE, but were edged out by a slim margin on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped 2 points to 730.

Closing Bell Report

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The markets surged in late afternoon trading over hopes that the government seizure of troubled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will lead to a much quicker recovery of the financial services sector as well as the housing sector.  The Dow skyrocketed 290 points to 11,511 while Nasdaq climbed 14 points to 2270.

On the upside

Zions Bancorp (Nasdaq: ZION) acquired the deposits of Silver State Bank in Nevada, which was shut down by regulators on Friday.  Zions also announced plans to raise $250 million.

SunTrust Banks (NYSE: STI) announced that it may repurchase up to $500 million in auction rate securities and may raise additional capital.

Wachovia (NYSE: WB) will lay off an additional 69 employees and named David Zwiener to the position of chief financial officer.

On the downside

Shares of Midwest Banc Holdings (Nasdaq: MBHI) tumbled despite reassurances that the bank is well capitalized.  Midwest holds a significant amount of preferred stock in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reported that Gateway Financial Holdings (Nasdaq: GBTS) has significant exposure to Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's preferred stock compared to their capital.

Shares of Blackberry maker Research in Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) tumbled after Gartner released a report indicating a sharp slowdown in the sales growth of smart phones during the second quarter.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by more than 3 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks jumped 14 points to 733.

Mid-Day Report

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The markets retreated from early morning highs to trade mixed during the midday as investors monitor the effects of the government seizure of troubled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  The Dow leaped 144 points to 11,365 while Nasdaq dropped 13 points to 2243.

On the upside

Credit Suisse upgraded real estate investment trusts Anworth Mortgage Asset (NYSE: ANH) and Annaly Capital Management (NYSE: NLY) citing the government's takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Friedman Billings Ramsey analyst Paul Miller Jr. upgraded PHH Corp. (NYSE: PHH) saying that the government bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will increase mortgage market liquidity that could lead to lower mortgage rates.

Shares of homebuilders Lennar (NYSE: LEN) and DR Horton (NYSE: DHI) rose on news that the government seized control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

On the downside

Fingerprint sensor maker AuthenTec (Nasdaq: AUTH) cut third quarter earnings and revenue outlook citing high inventory levels.

Citigroup downgraded RF Micro Devices (Nasdaq: RFMD) after the company's largest client warned that it would lose market share in the third quarter.

The Office for Thrift Supervision lowered BankUnited Financial's (Nasdaq: BKUNA) capitalization rating from well-capitalized to adequately capitalized.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by more than 9 to 7 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks climbed 8 points to 727.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened sharply higher with the Dow soaring over 250 points to 11,480 while Nasdaq rose 26 points to 2282.  Over the weekend, U.S. regulators took over troubled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

On the upside

Investors hoped that the government's intervention will restore confidence in the financial services and housing sectors.  Shares of homebuilders Lennar Corp. (NYSE: LEN) and KB Home (NYSE: KBH) rose along with shares of Citigroup (NYSE: C) and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC).

The CEO of Washington Mutual (NYSE: WM) was replaced as the troubled savings and loans signed a memorandum of understanding with the Office of Thrift Supervision to work with government regulators.

Shares of Gehl (Nasdaq: GEHL) soared after the construction and farm equipment maker received a $450 million offer from France-based Manitou, its largest shareholder.

On the downside

Shares of Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) and Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) plummeted after the U.S. Treasury Department seized control of the companies over the weekend.  While the two companies are expected to stay in business, common shareholders have been virtually wiped out by the government's 80% stakes.

Investors worieed that Lehman Brothers (NYSE: LEH) may be unable to find partners to buy its assets or to offer capital to shore up its balance sheet.

Shares of Biodel (Nasdaq: BIOD) lost more than half their value after the drug researcher announced disappointing clinical trial results for its diabetes drug treatment.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 3 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks soared 13 points to 732.

Closing Bell Report

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It was a mixed close for the markets as retreating oil prices tempered news of an unexpected jump in jobless claims.  The Dow gained 33 points to 11,221 while Nasdaq eased 3 points to 2256.

On the upside

Second quarter earnings for Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance (Nasdaq: ULTA) soared to top estimates as sales climbed.

Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), Citigroup (NYSE: C) and Wachovia (NYSE: WB) are among nine banks that have agreed to settle federal and state inquiries into auction rate securities sales by buying back more than $50 billion of securities.

Although Morgan Stanley analyst Nigel Dally downgraded American International Group (NYSE: AIG) over liquidity concerns, shares of the world's largest insurer rose.

On the downside

Although ABM (NYSE: ABM) posted higher third quarter earnings, the company lowered its full year outlook.

Brazil's rejected Gilead Sciences' (Nasdaq: GILD) patent request for its AIDS treatment Tenofovir saying that the drug lacked technological inventiveness.

Copper prices dropped to a seven month low to weigh down shares of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (NYSE: FCX).

In the broad market, advancing issues barely edged out decliners by a slim margin on the NYSE while decliners outpaced advancers by nearly 9 to 7 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks edged up a fraction to 719.

Mid-Day Report

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Unexpectedly sharp job losses in August lifted the nation's unemployment rate to a five year high to weigh down the markets during the midday with the Dow falling 24 points to 11,165.  Nasdaq tumbled 15 points to 2244.

On the upside

Jefferies & Co. analyst Robert Schenosky upgraded GrafTech International (NYSE: GTI) on the expectation that electrode prices will climb next year.

Quicksilver (NYSE: ZQK) reversed year ago losses to report a profit for the third quarter as revenue rose to surpass estimates.

Hoku Scientific (Nasdaq: HOKU) announced a 10-year contract valued at up to $455 million to provide polysilicon to Solargiga Energy Holdings.

On the downside

First quarter earnings for Smith & Wesson Holding (Nasdaq: SWHC) dropped to fall short of estimates.  Analysts warned of high inventories and continued pricing pressures.

Pike Electric (NYSE: PEC) reported flat fourth quarter earnings as revenue fell and forecast full year results below expectations.

Although Exelon (NYSE: EXC) lifted its fiscal 2008 guidance, the outlook fell short of analyst expectation.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and nearly the same on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks tumbled 7 points to 711.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened lower as investors worried about job losses and the highest rate of unemployment in five years.  The Dow lost nearly 100 points to 11,090 while Nasdaq dropped 18 points to 2240.

On the upside

SanDisk (Nasdaq: SNDK) is in talks with South Korea's Samsung and is considering an alliance or a buyout.

Altria Group (NYSE: MO) may make a $10 billion offer to buy UST (NYSE: UST) which makes Copenhagen and Skoal tobacco products, according to a New York Times report.

Shares of Spectranetics (Nasdaq: SPNC) edged higher after the stock collapsed yesterday.   Investors and analysts remained uncertain as to why the company had received a search warrant from both the Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

On the downside

Nokia (NYSE: NOK) lowered its market share outlook for the 3rd quarter, but reiterated its full-year targets.

Shares of Cascade (NYSE: CAE) skidded after the maker of forklift attachments, hydraulic cylinders and other loading gear reported lower revenues and earnings.

Shares of Constellation Energy (NYSE: CEG) continued to fall as investors worried about lower wholesale gas prices squeezing profit margins.


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 5 points to 712.

Closing Bell Report

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Disappointing retail sales weighed down investor sentiment to send the markets tumbling to a sharply lower close with the Dow plunging 345 points to 11,188.  Nasdaq skidded 75 points to 2259.

On the upside

Shares of Medivation (Nasdaq: MDVN) continued to soar after announcing a partnership with Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) to develop and market the Alzheimer's disease and Huntington's disease treatment Dimebon.

Grubb & Ellis Realty Investors (NYSE: GBE) purchased a 312 unit multifamily community called The Retreat in Peachtree City, Georgia.

Range Resources (NYSE: RRC) announced that Macellus Shale project is ahead of schedule and the oil and natural gas company expects production at the site by the end of the year.

On the downside

Trading was halted on Spectranetics (Nasdaq: SPNC) after the stock collapsed.  Investors are awaiting news from the medical device maker.

Although TiVo (Nasdaq: TIVO) introduced its latest HD XL Digital Video Recorder with more recording capacity, MicroSoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) slashed the price of its gaming and entertainment console Xbox 360, which can stream movies from Netflix.

Bloomberg reported that Lehman Brothers (NYSE: LEH) may spin off $32 billion worth of its commercial real estate and mortgage assets as a new company.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 5 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 4 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks skidded 23 points to 719.

Mid-Day Report

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An unexpected increase in applications for unemployment benefits along with disappointing retail sales sent the markets tumbling during the midday with the Dow plummeting 256 points to 11,277.  Nasdaq plunged 51 points to 2282.

On the upside

Although legal costs weighed down second quarter earnings for Collective Brands (NYSE: PSS), the results beat analyst estimates.

The U. S. Army awarded SAIC (NYSE: SAI) a military contract worth nearly $20 million to conduct research at Naval Health Research facilities.

The Los Angeles Sanitation Bureau selected Clean Energy Fuels (Nasdaq: CLNE) to provide liquefied natural gas for its 340 vehicle fleet using cleaner burning fuel.

On the downside

Raymond James analyst Dan Wewer downgraded Hibbett Sports (Nasdaq: HIBB) after company president and chief operating officer Nissan Joseph resigned.

Terex (NYSE: TEX) lowered its 2008 earnings outlook prompting Robert W. Baird analyst Robert F. McCarthy to downgrade the mining and construction equipment maker and lower his price target on the stock.

Credit Suisse analyst Craig Siegenthaler downgraded Legg Mason (NYSE: LM) saying that the investment management firm may have to take further write downs and that the value of the company is dropping as more financial services firms put themselves up for sale.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 3 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plummeted 18 points to 724.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened lower after retailers posted disappointing August sales while the number of unemployment claims rose.  The Dow lost more than 100 points to 11,430 while Nasdaq fell 18 points to 2315.

On the upside

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT) edged higher after the world's largest discount retailer reported better than expected August sales.  Shares of BJ Wholesale Club (NYSE: BJ) also rose as same-store sales posted robust gains.

Apparel retailers raised their outlook for 2009.  Analysts promptly upgraded the sector while investors snapped up shares of Guess (NYSE: GES) andAmerican Eagle Outfitters (NYSE: AEO).

Business software maker Open Text (Nasdaq: OTEX) offered $131 million in cash to buy document management company Captaris (Nasdaq: CAPA).

On the downside

Telecommunications and network equipment maker Ciena (Nasdaq: CIEN) posted 3rd quarter profits that fell while lowering its revenue outlook for the current quarter.

Luxury home builder Toll Brothers (NYSE: TOL) swung to a 3rd quarter loss as revenues tumbled amid an ongoing housing slump.

Aircraft assembly workers at Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) voted overwhelmingly to strike although mediators added a 48-hour contract extension to delay the walkout itself.

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 9 points to 732.

Closing Bell Report

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The markets closed mixed even as oil prices continued sliding and factory orders rose more than expected.  The Dow gained 16 points to 11,533 while Nasdaq tumbled 16 points to 2334.

On the upside

KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Saul Ludwig upgraded Cabot (NYSE: CBT) and lifted his earnings estimate for the carbon black maker citing improved prospects and a new chief executive.

Home Depot (NYSE: HD) CEO Frank Blake said that the housing market was close to hitting bottom and expects very modest improvements in sales and earnings during the second half of this year although pressure may continue into the beginning of 2009.

Rumors that Uranium Resources (Nasdaq: URRE) may be acquired lifted shares of the uranium company.

On the downside

Revlon (NYSE: REV) will sell its Brazilian Bozzano business and launch an equity rights offering in order to raise funds to pay down a $170 million loan.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration has fined mine operators nearly $98 million in the first ten months of fiscal 2008 after a number of deadly, high profile accidents.  Shares of International Coal (NYSE: ICO) and National Coal (NYSE: NCOC) tumbled.

Standard & Poor's lowered its price target for Marvell Technology Group (NYSE: MRVL).
 

In the broad market, advancing issues barely edged out decliners by a slim margin on the NYSE while advancers outpaced decliners by more than 10 to 9 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 3 points to 742.

Mid-Day Report

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Despite a larger than expected gain in factory orders and retreating oil prices, the markets tumbled during the midday with the Dow dropping 88 points to 11,429.  Nasdaq plunged 24 points to 2325.

On the upside

Citi Investment Research analyst Chip Dillon said that price increases for containerboard could nearly triple earnings for Smurfit-Stone Container (Nasdaq: SSCC).

Temple-Inland (NYSE: TIN) reassured investors that none of its facilities were damaged by Hurricane Gustav.

Goldman Sachs analyst Christopher Cuomo said that Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) experienced an encouraging increase in traffic in August.

On the downside

Third quarter earnings rose for Joy Global (Nasdaq: JOYG) due to a one time tax benefit but margins fell and the mining equipment maker forecast lower operating income for the year.

Credit Suisse downgraded Forest Labs (NYSE: FRX) after the company reported disappointing late stage clinical trial results for the lung drug aclidinium bromide which it is developing with Spanish pharmaceutical Almirall.

Although MEMC Electronic Materials (NYSE: WFR) affirmed its third quarter guidance, the silicon wafer company warned of increasingly soft demand.
 

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by 10 to 9 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost a point to 737.

Opening Bell Report

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The major indexes drifted lower at the opening bell as investors mulled over a better than expected report on July factory orders.  The Dow eased 15 points to 11,501 while Nasdaq slipped 3 points to 2346.

On the upside

Shares of Medivation (Nasdaq: MDVN) soared after the drug developer announced a partnership with Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) to market a drug candidate that treats Alzheimer's disease and Huntington's disease.

Ambac (NYSE: ABK) receive approval from Wisconsin regulators to re-start its Connie Lee Insurance Company subsidiary as a new municipal bond insurer.

Ospraie Management LLC will close its flagship fund after incurring significant losses.  Lehman Brothers (NYSE:LEH), which is facing its own set of investment losses, owns 20% of the commodities-focused hedge fund.

On the downside

Food maker Kraft Foods (NYSE: KFT) reaffirmed its 2008 outlook, including a one-time charge related to its spin-off of its Post Cereals business.

Corning (NYSE:GLW) lowered its guidance for revenues and earnings due to inventory issues and lower prices affecting its display-glass business.

Shares of Pier 1 Imports (NYSE: PIR) lost ground after the furniture retailer posted lower same-store sales.
 

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a slim margin on both the NYSE and Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 3 points to 742.

Closing Bell Report

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Despite sharply lower oil prices, the markets closed lower as manufacturing activity fell and construction spending dropped more than expected.  The Dow lost 27 points to 11,517 while Nasdaq tumbled 18 points to 2349.

On the upside

Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) sold $1 billion in five-year debt though an auction and will sell $3 billion in two-year debt tomorrow.

Shares of Puerto Rico based bank Popular (Nasdaq: BPOP) continued to rise after announcing plans to sell $1.17 billion worth of U. S. mortgage assets to Goldman Sachs.

The Air Transport Association reported that airliners improved fuel efficiency while reducing harmful emissions in 2007.  Shares of Northwest (NYSE: NWA), Delta (NYSE: DAL) and Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) soared.

On the downside


Privately held Transcept Pharmaceuticals will acquire biopharmaceutical Novacea (Nasdaq: NOVC) in an all stock deal.

Shares of U. S. Steel (NYSE: X) tumbled after the Institute for Supply Management reported a drop in manufacturing activity in August while the Commerce Department reported a sharper than expected decline in construction spending.

Banc of America analyst William Ho downgraded Gilead Sciences (NYSE: GILD) as growth for the biotechnology company's HIV drugs slow.
 

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 9 to 8 on the NYSE while declining issues barely edged out advancer on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks eased a point to 739.

Mid-Day Report

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Oil prices plunged over relief that Hurricane Gustav caused less damage to the oil industry than expected.  The Dow soared 101 points to 11,645 while Nasdaq gained 5 points to 2373.

On the upside

Fox-Pitt Kelton analyst Brent Christ upgraded Zions Bancorp (Nasdaq: ZION) saying that despite the credit crisis, the bank has experienced high growth.

Private equity firm CapGen Financial will invest $100 million in PacWest Bancorp (Nasdaq: PACW).

Regions Financial (NYSE: RF) assumed $900 million in deposits from Integrity Bank after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. declared Integrity insolvent.

On the downside


J. P. Morgan Securities analyst Ann Duignan cited the continued, and possibly prolonged, slowdown of the global economy for initiating coverage of Bucyrus International (NYSE: BUCY) with a Neutral rating.

Chief U. S. District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin ordered Massey Energy (NYSE: MEE) to offer employment to laid off union miners.

Denbury Resources (NYSE: DNR) exercised its option to acquire an oil field near Houston, Texas from a subsidiary of Venoco.
 

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 4 to 3 on the NYSE and by 9 to 7 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks edged up a fraction to 740.

Opening Bell Report

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The markets opened sharply higher as oil prices tumbled in the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav which caused less damage than expected.  The Dow soared over 200 points to 11,760 while Nasdaq soared 40 points to 2407.

On the upside

Sciele Pharma (Nasdaq: SCRX) received a $1.1 billion cash offer from Japanese pharmaceutical manufacturer Shionogi & Co, Ltd.

Shares of Lehman Brothers (NYSE: LEH) rose on hopes that the investment bank can get a $6 billion capital infusion or an outright acquisition offer through Korea Development Bank.

The airline sector soared despite travel disruptions due to the hurricane as oil prices dropped.  Shares of UAL Corp. (Nasdaq: UAUA) and AMR (NYSE: AMR) which operates American Airlines opened sharply higher.

On the downside


Oil companies surveyed the damage caused by Hurricane Gustav, but investors were more worried about falling oil prices cutting into profit margins.  Shares of Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) and ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) were sold off.

The coal sector caved in as commodities prices fell and the dollar rose overnight.  Shares of Arch Coal (NYSE: ACI) and Patriot Coal (NYSE: PCX) fell sharply.

Technology stocks rallied, but shares of Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) bucked the trend.  Investors remained nervous about the outlook for the computer maker after last week's disappointing results.
 

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 leaped 15 points to 753.

Market Holiday Report

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The U.S markets closed for the Labor Day holiday.   Oil prices retreated as Hurricane Gustav weakened in strength easing concerns about long-term disruptions to oil drilling and refining operations in the Gulf of Mexico.

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