December 2008 Archives

Stocks End Higher On Light Trading

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On the last day of 2008, a light trading session ended higher with the Dow climbing 108 points to 8776 as jobless claims slipped from last week.  Nasdaq surged 26 points to 1577.

On the upside

Ion Geophysical (NYSE: IO) refinanced debt and announced the adoption of a poison pill plan.

Allis-Chalmers Energy (NYSE: ALY) will pay $5 million to acquire the remaining shares of BCH that it does not already own.

Global Ship Lease (NYSE: GSL) received a delivery of a 10,960 TEU newbuilding containership which increases its fleet to 16 vessels.

 

Conseco's (NYSE: CFD) 40/86 Strategic Income Fund increased its dividend to $0.0924 per share payable on January 9, 2009 to shareholders of record December 31, 2008.

Shares of American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings (NYSE: AXL) rose after automakers received a government bailout.

On the downside

Analysts expect Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) to introduce lower priced iPhones and MacBooks next year.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 7 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks leaped 17 points to 499.

Upbeat Jobless Report Lifts Markets

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An upbeat jobless report lifted the markets higher on the final trading day of the year with the Dow gaining 70 points to 8739.  Nasdaq soared 20 points to 1570.

On the upside

The Food and Drug Administration approved Labopharm's (Nasdaq: DDSS) once a day extended release pain medication RYZOLT.

China BAK Battery (Nasdaq: CBAK) will hold a conference call on Friday January 23 to discuss first quarter financial results.

The Phoenix Companies (NYSE: PNX) entered a reinsurance agreement with a subsidiary of Swiss Re.


On the downside

Shares of Dow Chemical (NYSE: DOW) continued falling after the Kuwaiti government cancelled its $17.4 billion joint venture with the chemical company.

Investors locked in profits for Northfield Laboratories (Nasdaq: NFLD), whose stock price surged yesterday after receiving priority review for its red blood cell drug.

Anthracite Capital (NYSE: AHR) extended its credit lines and announced that it will pay only the minimum required dividends on its common shares.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks climbed 8 points to 491.

First time jobless claims fell last week, but the economy is expected to cope with more layoffs in the coming months.  Investors pruned their portfolios for tax losses while buying stocks that may recover in 2009.  The Dow rose 57 points to 8725 while Nasdaq climbed 15 points to 1566.

On the upside

Akorn (Nasdaq: AKRX) received FDA approval for generic versions of an antibiotic.

Washington state regulators approved the pending sale of Puget Sound Energy (NYSE: PSD) for $7.4 billion to a New York-based investment group held by Canadian and Australian investors.

Shares of Genco Shipping & Trading (NYSE: GNK) rallied for a second day after taking delivery of the Genco Hadrian, a new Capesize ship, which was expected to contribute to revenues.


On the downside

Needing at least $30 billion to become a bank holding company and expected to receive $6 billion from the Treasury, GMAC picked up an additional $21.2 billion commitment in a debt-for-equity swap.  Shares of General Motors (NYSE: GM) edged lower.

American International Group (NYSE: AIG) asked the Federal Reserve to ease its payment terms on $60 billion in loans while what was once the world's largest insurance company continued to liquidate assets.

Shares of VeriFone Holdings (NYSE: PAY) fell after the maker of checkout-line payment terminals and software delayed its annual report filing to make goodwill accounting adjustments due to a decline in business.


In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 7 to 3 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose 6 points to 489.

Investors brushed aside record low consumer confidence to focus instead on news that the federal government will invest $5 billion in General Motors' financial unit.  The Dow leaped 184 points to close at 8668 while Nasdaq jumped 40 points to 1551.

On the upside

Billionaire Mark Cuban purchased a 9.4% stake in Carmike Cinemas (Nasdaq: CKEC).

Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) announced the elimination of 53 positions due to the company's upcoming merger with Wachovia (NYSE: WB).

AirMedia Group (Nasdaq: AMCN) will repurchase up to $50 million worth of American Depositary shares.

Bargain hunters snapped up shares of JA Solar Holdings (Nasdaq: JASO), whose stock price has tumbled over the last few months. 

On the downside

Motley Fool listed Raser Technologies (NYSE: RZ) as a losing stock citing an analyst's comments that the company has only a website presence with no product.

Lindsay (NYSE: LNN) announced last week that demand for irrigation systems is slowing due to falling crop prices and the sluggish economy.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 16 points to 483.

Despite a record low reading of consumer confidence, the markets surged in midday trading with the Dow soaring 114 points to 8598.  Nasdaq leaped 27 points to 1537.

On the upside

Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD) will take a $70 million charge in the fourth quarter for costs associated with job cuts.

Genco Shipping (NYSE: GNK) took delivery of a new Capesize vessel from Metrostar Management.  The new ship has been chartered for $65,000 per day by Cargill International SA.

Flextronics International (Nasdaq: FLEX) announced that it accepted approximately $259,999,000 in aggregate principal amount for its cash tender offer.

 

Motley Fool listed Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) as one of several tech stocks that will weather the recession and be a wise purchase for 2009. 

On the downside

A-Power Energy Generation Systems (Nasdaq: APWR) blamed contract delays and the sluggish economy for slashing its fourth quarter forecast.

Ashford Hospitality (NYSE: AHT) suspended its dividend and announced layoffs and salary freezes last week.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by 7 to 5 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 7 points to 473.

The Treasury said it would buy $5 billion in senior preferred equity from GMAC and increase its loan to General Motors by $1 billion.  The Dow rose 43 points to 8527 while Nasdaq climbed 11 points to 1522.

On the upside

Total assistance going to the auto industry rose to $23.4 billion after GMAC's application to become a bank holding company was approved by the Federal Reserve making the company eligible for financial rescue funds.  Shares of General Motors (NYSE: GM) rose.

Shares of Rohm Haas (NYSE: ROH) partially recovered from yesterday's offer as Dow Chemical (NYSE: DOW) considered a bridge loan to salvage its acquisition bid for the chemical company.

Standard & Poor's said it would replace UST Inc. (NYSE: UST) which is being acquired by Altria Group (NYSE: MO) with Iron Mountain (NYSE: IRM) in its S&P 500 index.

Savient Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SVNT) received fast-track approval from the FDA for its drug treatment of gout.

On the downside

Apex Silver Mines (NYSE: SIL) received a noncompliance notice that may delist the stock due to substantial losses.

Investment banker Greenhill and Company (NYSE: GHL) was downgraded by an analyst.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 4 points to 470.

Mideast Tensions Rattle Investors

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Oil prices rose above the $40 a barrel mark as Israeli air strikes continued to pound the Gaza strip.  The Dow lost 31 points to close at 8483 while Nasdaq lost nearly 20 points to finish the session at 1510.

On the upside

AT&T (NYSE: T) is offering refurbished 8-gigabyte iPhones made by Apple (AAPL) for $99.

Higher oil prices lifted shares of Chevron (NYSE: CVX) and Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM).

On the downside

Cogdell Spencer (NYSE: CSA) lowered its dividend in order to preserve capital.  The company owns specialty office properties for the medical profession in the southeastern United States.

Riverbed Technology (Nasdaq: RVBD) was downgraded by a Wedbush Morgan analyst.  The company provides distributed computing solutions.

Billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian had reportedly sold off all of his remaining shares of Ford Motor (NYSE: F).

Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) reported strong holiday sales, but investors worried about the online retailer's performance through 2009 amid the ongoing recession.

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 dropped 10 points to close at 466. 

The Kuwaiti government cancelled a joint venture with Dow Chemical sending the markets tumbling with the Dow plummeting 93 points to 8422 while Nasdaq plunged 28 points to 1502.


On the upside

UBS upgraded homebuilder Standard Pacific (NYSE: SPF).

Last week, Yamana Gold (NYSE: AUY) completed a $200 million revolving credit financing deal.

Northwest Pipe Company (Nasdaq: NWPX) will supply Cableados Industriales SA de CV with approximately 15,000 feet of steel pipe for a Baja California project.

On the downside

SL Green Realty (NYSE: SLG) slashed its dividend by more than half.

Jones Apparel Group (NYSE: JNY) lowered its revolving credit facilities.

Disappointing holiday retail sales weighed down shares of Liz Clairborne (NYSE: LIZ).

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plunged 12 points to 465.

The markets opened lower as the confllict in Gaza lifted crude oil prices.  The Dow fell 26 points to 8490 while Nasdaq dropped 13 points to 1517.

On the upside

On Friday, Motley Fool named Cosan (NYSE: CZZ) as a stock on the upswing.

Bridgelux settled a patent infringement suit with Cree (Nasdaq: CREE) by agreeing to pay royalities and license fees to the LED light maker.

A Barron's article said that despite falling natural gas and oil prices, Linn Energy (Nasdaq: LINE) will continue to make its quarterly cash distributions to shareholders, which offer a yield of 20%.

On the downside

Despite the cancellation of a $17.4 billion joint venture with the Kuwaiti government, Dow Chemical's (NYSE: DOW) proposed acquisition of Rohm & Haas (NYSE: ROH) will move forward but analyst expect terms of the deal to change.

AgFeed Industries (Nasdaq: FEED) suspended its share repurchase plan and will raise $8.8 million through the sale of 5 million shares of common stock to institutional investors.

Investors locked in profits for ProLogis (NYSE: PLD), whose shares surged last week when the real estate investment trust announced intentions to sell its Chinese operations as well as its stake in Japanese property funds.

In the broad market, advancing issues barely edged out decliners by a slim margin on the NYSE while decliners outpaced advancers by nearly 3 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 3 points to 474.

Despite the first drop in holiday retail sales in approximately forty years, a light trading day ended modestly higher with the Dow gaining 47 points to 8516 after GM's financial unit received approval to convert to a bank holding company making GMAC eligible to apply for the government lending program.  Nasdaq added 5 points to 1530.

On the upside

Hedge fund Steelehead Partners continued to focus on coal companies by maintaining its stake in James River Coal (Nasdaq: JRCC).

The Wall Street Journal reported that the New York Times (NYSE: NYT) was seeking to sell its 17.5% stake in New England Sports Ventures, which owns the Boston Red Sox.

After swinging to a third quarter loss, Sprint (NYSE: S) increased its advertising budget and is poised to spend more than its larger rivals.

On the downside

Motley Fool called Applied Material (Nasdaq: AMAT) a value stock because the price has fallen more than half from its 52-week high.  Analysts believe it has reached the bottom.

Motley Food cited Goldman Sachs' (NYSE: GS) conversion to a bank as one reason to sell the stock because of competition from Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC).

Shares of Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI) fell after SpendingPulse reported a sharp 27% drop in electronic and appliance sales during the holidays.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 3 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks climbed 6 points to 477.

Markets Flat At Midday

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The markets traded near the flatline during the midday with the Dow adding 3 points to 8472 while Nasdaq lost 5 points to 1520 as crude oil prices rebounded.

On the upside

Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) reported that the 2008 holiday shopping season was the best for the online retailer with over 6.3 million items ordered on its peak day.

John Dvorak of MarketWatch spotlighted Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD) as a 10-bagger stock, one whose stock price is expected to surge by a factor of ten over a two year period.

Sunrise Senior Living (NYSE: SRZ) entered a standstill agreement with two of its subsidiaries and its lender.

On the downside

Shares of Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS) fell after SpendingPulse reported a sharp 27% drop in sales of electronics and appliances.

Holiday retail sales fell for the first time in approximately forty years to weigh down shares of Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT).

Emageon (Nasdaq: EMAG) announced that Stanford International Bank will not provide the necessary funds to complete Health Systems' acquisition of Emageon.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 4 on the NYSE while decliners outpaced advancers by nearly 9 to 7 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks eased a fraction to 470.

The markets opened higher as retailers lured shoppers with bargain prices.  The Dow gained 41 points to 8510 while Nasdaq added 4 points to 1529.

 

On the upside

Jones Apparel Group (NYSE: JNY) consolidated and reduced its $1.25 billion lines of credit into a single $600 million line of credit with more flexibility.

The Federal Reserve approved GMAC's application to become a bank, which now allows the auto finance company to apply for government loans. General Motors (NYSE: GM) stock surged.

Intertgral Systems (Nasdaq: ISYS) reported higher fourth quarter earnings and revenue.

On the downside

Capstone Turbine (Nasdaq: CPST) filed a $150 million shelf registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Investors locked in profits for EPIX (Nasdaq: EPIX), which won FDA approval for its imaging agent Vasovist on Wednesday.

The first decline in holiday sales in forty years weighed down shares of Dillards (NYSE: DDS).

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a point to 472.

Markets Closed

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The U. S. markets are closed in observance of the Christmas holiday.

Despite a drop in consumer spending, the markets closed modestly higher on a shortened trading day as crude oil prices fell.  The Dow gained 49 points to 8468 while Nasdaq added 3 points to 1525.

On the upside

Valley National Bancorp (NYSE: VLY) will replace FLIR Systems (Nasdaq: FLIR) on the S&P MidCap 400 after market close today while FLIR will replace National City (NYSE: NCC) on the S&P 500.

Although Micron Technology (NYSE: MU) widened first quarter losses, revenue topped estimates.

Bargain hunters snapped up shares of General Motors (NYSE: GM).

On the downside

CIT Group (NYSE: CIT) completed its debt exchange offer which replaced certain debt with more favorable debt instruments.

Shares of KV Pharmaceutical (NYSE: KV-A) continued falling after the company recalled one production lot of a painkiller and halted shipments of all tablet drugs yesterday.

Standard & Poor's downgraded General Growth Properties' (NYSE: GGP) credit rating.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 7 to 5 on the NYSE and by 10 to 9 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 2 points to 470.

1st time jobless claims rose to 586,000, a 26-year high, from 556,000 the previous week.  Consumer spending fell for a 5th straight month while incomes narrowly contracted.  The Dow edged up 32 points to 8452 while Nasdaq slipped a point to 1520.

On the upside

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT) announced a settlement to pay as much as $640 million across 63 lawsuits involving wage and hour violations.

Owens-Illinois (NYSE: OI) was added to the S&P 500.  The company produces glass containers.

Industrial real estate investment trust ProLogis (NYSE: PLD) sold its Chinese operations and Japanese equity stakes for $1.3 billion in cash.

On the downside

Truck, bus and engine maker Navistar International (NYSE: NAV) announced that it would restate financial results and boost its earnings results.

YRC Worldwide (Nasdaq: YRCW) cancelled a debt tender offer and announced a $150 million contract to sell and lease back some of its facilities.

Cameco (NYSE: CCJ) was downgraded by an analyst.  The Canadian company develops and produces uranium  in Canada, the U.S., and Central Asia.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 6 to 5 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 4 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped a point to 466.

Markets Lower As Home Sales Fall

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Falling home sales and another drop in the the gross domestic product sent the markets down to a lower close with the Dow tumbling 100 points to 8419.  Nasdaq lost 11 points to 1522.

On the upside

Motely Fool spotlighted IMAX (Nasdaq: IMAX) as a good buy in 2009.

BlueLinx Holdings (NYSE: BXC) will repurchase up to $10 million worth of common stock over a two year period.

Casey Murphy of Investopedia.com wrote that Merck (NYSE: MRK) has been trending downwards throughout 2008 and is poised to recover in 2009.

On the downside

Standard & Poor's cited the difficult retail environment for downgrading the credit ratings on Liz Claiborne (NYSE: LIZ).

Sterne Agee initiated coverage of Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) with a Sell rating.

AsiaInfo Holdings (NYSE: ASIA) registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell shares of its common stock.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 3 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks dropped 6 points to 469.

Disappointing home sales data weighed down the markets during the midday with the Dow falling 57 points to 8463.  Nasdaq dropped 11 points to 1521.

 

On the upside

Shares of Focus Media (Nasdaq: FMCN) climbed after Sina offered over $1 billion to acquire the company's out-of-home advertising networks.

CIT Group's (NYSE: CIT) status change to become a bank holding company was approved and the company should receive $2.33 billion from the government's capital purchase plan.

Shareholders of National City (NYSE: NCC) and PNC Financial (NYSE: PNC) approved the proposed merger between the two banks.

On the downside

Shares of Broadcom (Nasdaq: BRCM) fell after announcing the release date of its fourth quarter as well as its full year results on January 29.

Standard & Poor's downgraded the credit ratings of General Motors (NYSE: GM) and Ford (NYSE: F).

JPMorgan analyst Shawn Webster warned that Micron Technology (NYSE: MU) will report disappointing first quarter earnings due to lower prices and weak demand.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 3 to 2 on the NYSE and by mroe than 5 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks tumbled 7 points to 468.

Retreating crude oil prices and better than expected consumer sentiment lifted the markets to a higher open with the Dow climbing 58 points to 8578.  Nasdaq added 12 points to 1544.

On the upside

The Food and Drug Administration approved Epix Pharmaceuticals' (Nasdaq: EPIX) magnetic resonance angiography blood vessel imaging agent Vasovist.

ProLogis (NYSE: PLD) announced plans to sell its Chinese properties and its stake in Japanese property funds to Singapore's GIC Real Estate for approximately $1.3 billion.

Health Systems Solutions closed its $62 million acquisition of medical technology firm Emageon (Nasdaq: EMAG).

On the downside

Washington Federal (Nasdaq: WFSL) blamed higher credit costs for slashing its quarterly dividend.

American Greetings (NYSE: AM) swung to a third quarter loss due to significant charges and lower revenue amidst a slumping economy.

KV Pharmaceutical (NYSE: KV-A) voluntarily suspended shipments of all drugs in tablet form and recalled a production lot of its pain management medication Hydromorphone.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 3 to 2 on the NYSE and by mroe than 5 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 5 points to 480.

Toyota warned that it will report its first loss since 1941 sending the markets down to a lower close with the Dow falling 59 points to 8520.  Nasdaq plunged 32 points to 1532.

On the upside

Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) made an all cash offer to acquire Chile's largest supermarket chain Distribucion y Servicio D&S S. A. (NYSE: DYS).

Shares of Standard Pacific (NYSE: SPF) continued to rise after the homebuilder acknowledged last week that it was in discussion with rival TOUSA regarding a possible merger or acquisition.


On the downside

Emageon (Nasdaq: EMAG) filed a claim with the Securities and Exchange Commission demanding that Health Systems Solutions set a closing date for its acquisition of Emageon.

Maguire Properties (NYSE: MPG) named Shant Koumriqian to the position of executive vice president and chief financial officer.

Shares of LSI (NYSE: LSI) continued to fall after lowering its fourth quarter forecast last week.

The Wall Street Journal reported that General Growth Properties (NYSE: GGP) agreed to seek the consent of certain lenders before making any significant decisions in order to extend the deadline for debt payment.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks tumbled 11 points to 475.

Disappointing earnings and corporate forecasts weighed down the markets during the midday with the Dow lost 38 points to 8542.  Nasdaq plunged 33 points to 1532.

On the upside

Private equity firm Elevation Partners will invest $100 million in Palm (Nasdaq: PALM) in exchange for Series C preferred stock that is convertible to common stock as well as warrants to purchase 7 million shares of common stock.

JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM) will expand its Canadian client franchise and risk management through the purchase of UBS Commodities Canada Ltd., an energy and global agricultural business.


AT&T (NYSE: T) introduced its U-verse Voice digital voice service in Toledo, Ohio.

On the downside

Shares of ArthroCare (Nasdaq: ARTC) continued to fall after three executives resigned on Friday over misleading financial information allegations.

Mortgage defaults continue rising in all loan categories including loans that have been modified sending shares of Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) and Wachovia (NYSE: WB) lower.

Manpower (NYSE: MAN) blamed the slumping economy for withdrawing its forecast.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 2 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plummeted 15 points to 471.

Stocks opened lower as the global economic weakness weighed on Japanese and Chinese companies with Toyota Motor expecting to post its first loss since 1941. The Dow lost 33 points to 8545 while Nasdaq tumbled 21 points to 1542.

On the upside

The Irish government injected 5.5 billion euros into its banks.  Shares of The Governor and Company of The Bank of Ireland (NYSE: IRE) rose sharply.

American International Group (NYSE: AIG) announced the sale of its Hartford Steam Boiler unit to German reinsurer Munich Re for $742 million.


On the downside

Shares of General Motors (NYSE: GM) fell on expectations that shareholders will hold little to no equity in the automaker.  Analysts focused on the company's inability to pay back loans.

SINA Corporation (Nasdaq: SINA) announced a $1.2 billion deal to buy substantially all of the assets of Focus Media's (Nasdaq: FMCN) digital out-of-home advertising networks.

Walgreen (NYSE: WAG) posted lower 1st quarter profits that missed expectations as it opened 212 new stores.

Inotera, a joint venture between Qimonda and Nanya Technology, was expected to be a $400 million deal for acquirer Micron Technology (NYSE: MU).

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 3 to 2 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 7 points to 479.

It was a mixed close for the markets with the Dow losing 26 points to 8579 despite falling oil prices and a $17.4 billion bailout for automakers as investors questioned whether the assistance will be enough to turn around the industry.  Nasdaq climbed 12 points to 1564.

On the upside

Oppenheimer initiated coverage of Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD) with an Outperform rating.

Frontier Financial (Nasdaq: FTBK) suspended payment of its dividend on the company's common stock in order to preserve capital.

While Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) reported slightly lower second quarter earnings, revenue rose and the company forecast third quarter results that were better than expected.


On the downside

PDL BioPharma (Nasdaq: PDLI) was removed from the S&P MidCap 400 index after it spun off its biotechnology busines into a separate unit.

Homebuilder Standard Pacific (NYSE: SPF) confirmed rumors that it was in discussions with rival TOUSA.

KeyBanc Capital Markets initiated coverage of Tempur Pedic International (NYSE: TPX) with a Hold rating.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 3 to 2 on the NYSE while decliners barely edged out advancers by a slim margin on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 7 points to 486.

While investors embraced the auto bailout plan, the markets traded near the flatline during the midday as investors wondered whether the bailout be enough to change the industry.  The Dow eased a fraction to 8605 while Nasdaq gained 14 points to 1567.

On the upside

Provident Bankshares (Nasdaq: PBKS) agreed to be acquired by M&T Bank (NYSE: MTB) for approximately $401 million in an all stock deal.

Brinker International (NYSE: EAT) sold a majority stake of its Romano's Macaroni Grill to an affiliate of Golden Gate Capital for $130 million to $135 million in cash.

Shares of Micron Technology (NYSE: MU) continued to climb after announcing an extended life flash storage technology that it developed with Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: JAVA).


On the downside

Eagle Bulk Shipping (Nasdaq: EGLE) will suspend its dividend and slash capital spending by approximately $363 million or 33%.

The partnership between Dynavax Technologies (Nasdaq: DVAX) and Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK) to develop the hepatits B vaccine Heplisav ended.  The FDA cited safety issues for halting Heplisav studies in March.

Citi Investment Research downgraded Fluor (NYSE: FLR) saying that the engineering and construction company's stock price was too high.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by more than 3 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks climbed 9 points to 489.

Investors were relieved to learn that the Bush administration has put together a $17.4 billion loan package for General Motors and Chrysler.   Meanwhile, oil prices plummeted to a 5-year low below $34 a barrel.  The Dow gained 83 points to 8688 while Nasdaq surged 28 points to 1580.

On the upside

Shares of General Motors (NYSE: GM) and Ford (NYSE: F) and auto suppliers rose even as a number of factories began shutting down in order to cut expenses and reduce inventory.

Shares of Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) rose after the software giant posted a slight dip in profits to show good resilience amid the global economic slowdown.

Sterling Construction (Nasdaq: STRL) raised its 2009 revenue outlook and suggested that federal infrastructure programs may boost business in Nevada and Texas.


On the downside

Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's slashed its ratings on major banks.  Shares of Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), Citigroup (NYSE: C) and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) fell.

Shares of medical device maker ArthroCare (Nasdaq: ARTC) tumbled after its CFO resigned over accounting issues related to the company's acquisition of DiscoCare.

Intrepid Potash (NYSE: IPI) joined its fertilizer industry peers to lower sales expectations of  potash and langbeinite.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 3 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 10 points to 490.

Standard & Poor's lowered General Electric's credit outlook sending the markets tumbling with the Dow plummeting 219 points to 8605.  Nasdaq dropped 27 points to 1552.

On the upside

T. Boone Pickens highlighted wind energy as part of an alternative energy strategy to lift shares of turbine producer A-Power Energy Generation Systems (Nasdaq: APWR).

Falling oil prices lifted shares of UAL (Nasdaq: UAUA) and Continental (NYSE: CAL).

PIMCO High Income Fund (NYSE: PHK) will pay its previously declared dividend of $0.121875 per common share on December 17, 2008 to shareholders of record October 11, 2008.


On the downside

Jefferies & Co. analyst Adam Benjamin downgraded Atheros Communications (Nasdaq: ATHR) after the semiconductor maker lowered its fourth quarter outlook.

JPMorgan Securities downgraded Bucyrus International (Nasdaq: BUCY) saying that demand will continue to drop.

Jefferies & Co. downgraded Silicon Image (Nasdaq: SIMG).

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 3 to 2 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 7 points to 479.

Comments from the Bush administration that it may facilitate orderly bankruptcies of the auto industry weighed down the markets during the midday with the Dow losing 42 points to 8782.  Nasdaq held steady at 1579.

On the upside

Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) will pay up to $485 million to jointly develop and market Auxilium Pharmaceuticals' (Nasdaq: AUXL) experimental treatment for Dupuytren's contracture and Peyronie's disease.

Micron Technology (NYSE: MU) developed with Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: JAVA) a new technology that extended the lifespan of flash-based storage.

XL Capital (NYSE: XL) opened a regional office in Atlanta for its insurance operations.


On the downside

MEMC Electronic Materials (NYSE: WFR) blamed slumping demand for cutting its fourth quarter outlook for the second time.

Stone Energy (NYSE: SGY) lowered its fourth quarter production outlook as oil prices continued falling.

Adolor (Nasdaq: ADLR) halted development of its Entereg drug to treat chronic bowel dysfunction in patients on opioid therapy.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 4 on the NYSE and by more than 10 to 9 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a point to 488.

First-time unemployment claims fell more than expected last week as the economy continued to absorb job losses. The Dow rose 20 points to 8844 while Nasdaq edge up 2 points to 1580.

On the upside

Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) returned to profitability in the 4th quarter after receiving an $863 million payment from an antitrust settlement from MasterCard (NYSE: MA) and Visa (NYSE: V).

Package delivery giant FedEx (NYSE: FDX) posted higher 2nd quarter profits attributed to lower fuel costs and announced plans to cut salaries and expenses due to an uncertain 2009 outlook.

Shares of Coca-Cola Enterprises (NYSE: CCE) rose after the soft drink bottler boosted its 2009 profit forecast.


On the downside

Shares of video game developer and publisher Take-Two Interactive Software (Nasdaq: TTWO) tumbled after reporting higher revenues and a wider 4th quarter loss.

General Motors (NYSE: GM) denied reports that it has reopened merger talks with Chrysler.  Both automakers were at risk of going bankrupt without a government bailout.

Computer-chip maker Atheros Communications (Nasdaq: ATHR) posted higher 3rd quarter revenues and earnings, but slashed its 4th quarter guidance.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a narrow margin on both the NYSE and Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 3 points to 483.

Corporate Losses Weigh Down Markets

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Disappointing corporate losses weighed down the markets to a lower close with the Dow tumbling 100 points to 8824.  Nasdaq dropped 11 points to 1579.

On the upside

Macy's (NYSE: M) amended its $2 billion credit agreement making it more flexible. 

Deutsche Bank lowered its price target for FelCor Lodging Trust (NYSE: FCH) to $3.50.  The real estate investment trust rose to close at $2.29.

Although the deal to take Huntsman (NYSE: HUN) private collapsed, Standard & Poor's is maintaining its ratings on the chemical maker.


On the downside

Constellation Energy (Nasdaq: CEG) rebuffed Warren Buffet's offer to purchase the company for $4.7 billion choosing instead to sell half of its nuclear energy business to Electricite de France SA.

Hovnanian Enterprises (NYSE: HOV) chief executive Ara Hovnanian expects the housing market to continue to be challenging in 2009 and called upon the government to enact a stimulus package to shore up home prices.

Deutsche Bank (NYSE: DB) announced that it will not be able to repay a $1.4 billion bond in January as originally anticipated.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 3 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 10 to 9 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 4 points to 487.

OPEC Slashes Oil Production

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In an effort to boost crude oil prices, OPEC slashed daily production by 2.2 million barrels.  The Dow lost 59 points to 8865 while Nasdaq fell 10 points to 1580.

On the upside

Cadence Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: CADX) reported positive results from a late stage clinical trial for its pain medication Acetavance. 

Although VeriFone Holdings (NYSE: PAY) swung to a fourth quarter loss, the results met expectations while revenue rose.

Pro investors favored First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR) among all US solar companies during the third quarter.


On the downside

Gibraltar Industries (Nasdaq: ROCK) warned that 2008 earnings will fall short of expectations prompting a downgrade.

Newell Rubbermaid (NYSE: NWL) blamed the slumping global economy for slashing its fourth quarter as well as its full year outlook.  The company also announced job cuts and salary freezes.

Leggett & Platt (NYSE: LEG) warned of a fourth quarter loss and cut its full year guidance due to weak demand.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by more than 5 to 4 on the NYSE and by more than 9 to 7 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 4 points to 479.

With a Fed rate cut to record lows in place, investors turned their attention to the unfinished business of saving the automotive industry.  The Dow lost 88 points to 8835 while Nasdaq fell 17 points to 1572.

On the upside

Shares of Satyam Computer Services (NYSE: SAY) rose after the India-based company cancelled a very unpopular acquisition plan.

The shipping and railway sectors continued to strengthen.  Shares of Kansas City Southern (NYSE: KSU) and Genco Shipping (NYSE: GNK) advanced sharply higher.

Joy Global (Nasdaq: JOYG) posted flat revenues and higher 4th quarter profits due to strong demand for its mining equipment.  Investors focus on the company's stronger balance sheet despite a lower 2009 outlook.


On the downside

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) posted a larger than expected $2.3 billion quarterly loss due to more mortgage-related writedowns and lower investment banking fees.  Moody's promptly downgraded the company's senior debt rating.

Motorola (NYSE: MOT) announced executive salary cuts and a freeze on its 401K matching contributions which effectively cut compensation for employees.

Cereal maker General Mills (NYSE: GIS) posted lower 2nd quarter profits that beat expectations, but a strong U.S. dollar tempered gains in overseas sales.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by nearly 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 3 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plunged 16 points to 453.

Aggressive Rate Cut Sparks Rally

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The Federal Reserve's aggressive interest rate cut that lowered the federal funds rate to range between zero and 0.25% sparked a rally with the Dow jumping 360 points to 8924.  Nasdaq leaped 82 points to 1590.

On the upside

The Pep Boys (NYSE: PBY) declared a quarterly dividend of $0.0675 per share payable on January 26, 2009 to shareholders of record January 12, 2009.

Beckman Coulter (NYSE: BEC) affirmed its 2008 outlook and forecast earnings to grow 10% per share in 2009 due to expense controls and higher margin sales.

Shares of Hovnanian Enterprises (NYSE: HOV) rose ahead of its earnings release after market close.


On the downside

Smith & Wesson Holding (Nasdaq: SWHC) blamed an impairment charge for its hunting rifle business for swinging to a second quarter loss.

Barclays Capital lowered its price target and cut its fourth quarter outlook as well as 2009 earnings expectations for Bank of America (NYSE: BAC).

Shares of Altria Group (NYSE: MO) fell despite a Court of Appeals rejection of a product liability claim against tobacco companies.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by nearly 6 to 1 on the NYSE and by 7 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 30 points to 483.

Markets Up In Anticipation Of Rate Cut

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The markets rose during the midday with the Dow climbing 110 points to 8678 in anticipation of a rate cut by the Federal Reserve.  Nasdaq leaped 37 points to 1545.

On the upside

Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (NYSE: PEI) completed $173 million through three mortgage loan financings.

Shares of Genworth Financial (NYSE: GNW) continued surging over expectations that the insurer will become eligible for the government's capital purchase plan after completing its acquisition of InterBank.

Hartford Financial (NYSE: HIG) will reopen its Five-Star Rated Hartford MidCap Fund to new investors due to investment opportunities.


On the downside

Conexant Systems (Nasdaq: CNXT) warned of a first quarter loss due to disappointing demand and slashed its revenue guidance for the first quarter.  The semiconductor company also announced the departure of chief financial officer Karen Roscher.

KeyBanc Capital Markets downgraded Cabot (NYSE: CBT).

General Growth Properties (NYSE: GGP) missed a deadline to repay $900 million in debt prompting Moody's Investors Service to downgrade the shopping mall owner's debt ratings.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by nearly 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by 5 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks soared 13 points to 465.

The Federal Reserve Bank was expected to slash interest rates to record lows in order to stimulate the economy and combat the risk of deflation.  The Dow surged more than 100 points to 8670 while Nasdaq rose 31 points to 1537.

On the upside

Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) posted its 1st quarterly loss as a publicly-traded company.  However, the $2.1 billion net loss was better than expected.

Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) reported lower 3rd quarter profits and offered buyout packages to nearly all of its corporate employees with the goal of cutting spending by 50%.

Medical instruments maker Beckman Coulter (NYSE: BEC) raised its earnings outlook on slightly lower sales due to reduced expenses.


On the downside

Satyam Computer (NYSE: SAY) proposed to buy out Maytas Properties and acquire a 51% stake in listed Maytas Infra for a total cost of $1.6 billion, according to a Dow Jones report.

Memory chip maker Stec (Nasdaq: STEC) lowered its 4th quarter sales outlook due to order cancellations.

Diversified U.S. manufacturer Eaton Corp. (NYSE: ETN) blamed the global economic slowdown for lowered revenue and profit forecast.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by more than 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 3 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose 9 points to 462.

Investors concerned about losses connected to Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme weighed down the markets to a lower close with the Dow losing 65 points to 8565.  Nasdaq plunged 32 points to 1508.

On the upside

Aetna (NYSE: AET) affirmed its full year outlook as well as its 2009 forecast.

Investors Bancorp (Nasdaq: ISBC) will acquire rival American Bancorp (Nasdaq: ABNJ) for approximately $140 million in cash and stock.

Barclays Capital upgraded Tellabs (Nasdaq: TLAB) citing the telecom equipment makers significant cash and improving margins.


On the downside

Jefferies & Co. downgraded Infinera (Nasdaq: INFN).

Raymond James analyst Budd Bugatch downgraded Furniture Brands International (NYSE: FBN) saying that the company must complete its reorganization before it will outperform its rivals.

UBS Investment Research analyst William Truelove downgraded Ashford Hospitality Trust (NYSE: AHT) saying that the company's asset value will drop below its debt value.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by nearly 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 3 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plunged 16 points to 453.

The markets extended its losses during the midday as the list of victims from Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme grew.  The Dow dropped 82 points to 8548 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq plunged 31 points to 1510.

On the upside

The board of Liberty Media (Nasdaq: LCAPA) approved plans to spin off its Liberty Entertainment (Nasdaq: LMDIA) business.

A Barron's article said that hospitality and entertainment company Gaylord Entertainment (NYSE: GET) stock is undervalued and should be worth $50 prompting an upgrade.

Teck Cominco (NYSE: TCK) cited a drop in metal demand and low zinc prices for temporarily closing its Pend Oreille Operations in Washington.


On the downside

Oppenheimer downgraded OceanFreight (Nasdaq: OCNF) after the dry bulk shipper announced a suspension of all future dividend payments and cut the charter rates for its M/V Augusta carrier.

Shopping center owner Developers Diversified Realty (NYSE: DDR) will not  be able to sell thirteen assets by mid-December as originally announced.

Merrill Lynch analyst Guy Moszkowski downgraded JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) and expects the company to post a fourth quarter loss.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks tumbled 11 points to 457.

Anxious investors awaited an imminent announcement from the White House that puts together a bailout package for the automotive industry.  The Dow lost 70 points to 8558 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq tumbled a steeper 27 points to 1513.

On the upside

Shares of General Motors (NYSE: GM) and Ford (NYSE: F) edge higher on hopes of a significant loan package to keep the automotive industry afloat.

Casino operator MGM Mirage (NYSE: MGM) announced the sale of the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino to billionaire Phil Ruffin for a much-needed $500 million in cash.

The shipping sector performed this morning with shares of DryShips (Nasdaq: DRYS) and Genco Shipping & Trading (NYSE: GNK) among the big gainers.


On the downside

Shares of Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), Nokia (NYSE: NOK) and Research in Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) fell as worries of weak consumer spending cast a pall on the cellphone industry.

Chemicals maker Huntsman (NYSE: HUN) would no longer be acquired by Hexion Specialty Chemicals .  The collapse of the $6.5 billion deal triggered a $1 billion legal settlement with Hexion's private-equity owner, Apollo Global Management LP.

Rofin-Sinar Technologies (Nasdaq: RSTI) lowered its 1st quarter sales outlook.  The company manufactures and sells lasers for commercial applications.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by nearly 2 to 1 on both the NYSE and Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 8 points to 460.

Treasury's Reassurances Lift Markets

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Despite early morning losses, the markets closed higher after the Treasury Department reassured investors that it will act to shore up the ailing auto industry.  The Dow climbed 65 points to 8630 while Nasdaq surged 33 points to 1541.

On the upside

Speculation that Palm (Nasdaq: PALM) may unveil a new operating system at Consumer Electronics Show in January lifted shares of the company.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Akorn's (Nasdaq: AKRX) generic drug to treat infections from corneal ulcers and conjunctivitis.

The Department of Justice said that 61 branches of National City (NYSE: NCC) must be sold before PNC Financial Services (NYSE: PNC) will be allowed to acquire National City.


On the downside

Shares of scientific instrument maker PerkinElmer (NYSE: PKI) fell after rival Waters (NYSE: WAT) slashed its fourth quarter outlook.

Deutsche Securities downgraded auto parts supplier American Axle (NYSE: AXL) after the auto industry bailout package failed.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Amit Daryanani cut his fiscal 2009 outlook for Flextronics International (Nasdaq: FLEX) and lowered his price target due to a slump in demand. 

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 3 to 2 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 17 points to 468.

The markets recovered during the midday with investors hopeful that the White House will act to prevent bankruptcies in the auto industry.  The Dow rose 34 points to 8600 while Nasdaq climbed 23 points to 1530.

On the upside

ProLogis (NYSE: PLD) commenced a tender offer for any and all of its 5.25% notes that are due on November 15, 2010.

Shopping center operator Macerich (NYSE MAC) announced that more than half of the sites previously occupied by bankrupt Mervyns will be taken by Forever 21 or Kohl's.

Hecla Mining (NYSE: HL) will raise $21 million through the sale of common stock and warrants.


On the downside

Credit Suisse cited XL Capital's (NYSE: XL) mark-to-market losses for slashing its price target for the insurance company.

Shares of Cadence Design Systems (Nasdaq: CDNS) continued falling after swinging to a third quarter loss and lowering its full year outlook.

Barclays Capital downgraded scientific instrument maker Varian (Nasdaq: VAR). 

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 4 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 3  on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 13 points to 464.

All eyes turned to the White House to allocate TARP funds after the Senate rejected a $14 billion package to keep automakers afloat.  Meanwhile, wholesale prices fell for the 4th consecutive month raising deflationary concerns.  The Dow lost more than 120 points to 8444 while Nasdaq fell a more modest 8 points to 1500.

On the upside

Investors were optimistic that troubled mall owner General Growth Properties (NYSE: GGP) may be able to negotiate an extension on $900 million in debt.

Exelixis (Nasdaq: EXEL) partnered with Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) which will make an upfront cash payment of $195 million to develop two drugs to slow cancer cells.

Shares of Diana Shipping (NYSE: DSX) rose after the shipping company signed a lucrative contract with Louis Dreyfus Commodities S.A., Geneva.


On the downside

Shares of General Motors (NYSE: GM) and Ford (NYSE: F) sank as investors worried about the fate of the auto industry.

Waters Corporation (NYSE: WAT) lowered its 2009 outlook.  Analysts promptly downgraded the medical equipment maker.

An analyst lowered his opinion of the engineering and construction sector.  Shares of Chicago Bridge and Iron (NYSE: CBI) opened sharply lower. 

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 2 to 1  on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks dropped 2 points to 449.

More layoffs in the financial services industry and problems with the auto industry bailout sent the markets tumbling to a sharply lower close with the Dow plummeting 196 points to 8565.  Nasdaq slumped 58 points to 1508.

On the upside

China Southern Airlines (NYSE: ZNH) received approximately $437 milllion from the Chinese government.

Greif (NYSE: GEF) reported higher fourth quarter earnings as sales climbed.

Yamana Gold (NYSE: AUY) increased its stock offering to 22.5 million shares.


On the downside

Lululemon Athletica (Nasdaq: LULU) reported higher third quarter earnings that topped expecations but warned that fourth quarter as well as full year results will fall short of estimates prompting a downgrade.

Ciena (Nasdaq: CIEN) swung to a fourth quarter loss as revenue dropped and the communications equipment maker forecast first quarter results below expectations.

Shares of Micron Technology (Nasdaq: MU) tumbled even after chief executive Steve Appleton said that the company will not layoffs any more workers.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 10 to 9 on the NYSE while advancers were on par with decliners on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped 2 points to 475.

Concerns that the auto bailout plan will fail in the face of Republican opposition sent the markets lower during the midday with the Dow slipping 21 points to 8740.  Nasdaq lost 9 points to 1556.

On the upside

Chinese search engine Baidu.com (Nasdaq: BIDU) cut its fourth quarter revenue outlook after suspending thousands of paid search clients who were selling medical products without appropriate licenses.  The stock price has collapsed nearly 75% sinces January.

Diodes (Nasdaq: DIOD) revised its fourth quarter forecast and announced that it will buy back $46.5 million of its $230 million senior convertible notes.

Amylin Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: AMLN) will seek FDA approval for the once a week diabetes drug exenatide LAR the company developed with Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY) and Alkermes (Nasdaq: ALKS).


On the downside

Emcore (Nasdaq: EMKR) reported a wider than expected  fourth quarter loss despite higher revenue as gross margin tumbled.

Urban Outfitters (Nasdaq: URBN) reported flat November same store sales and warned that sales will most likely fall prompting analyst to cut their price targets for the lifestyle specialty retailer.

Cadence Design Systems (Nasdaq: CDNS) swung to a loss for the third quarter as revenue plunged and forecast disappointing fourth quarter results.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 10 to 9 on the NYSE while advancers were on par with decliners on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped 2 points to 475.

New jobless claims rose last week to their highest level since 1982 while the U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly rose in October due to falling U.S. imports.  The Dow lost 72 points to 8695 while Nasdaq gave up 12 points to 1552.

On the upside

Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY) expected to take a loss absorbing Imclone Systems while reaffirming its outlook for drug sales in 2009.

The CEO Visa (NYSE: V) offered earnings guidance believing that growth outside the U.S. will offset a weak domestic economy.

Shares of American Italian Pasta (Nasdaq: AIPC) surged after the nation's largest pasta maker posted higher 4th quarter revenues and profits that nearly tripled.


On the downside

Shares of Mexican cement company Cemex (NYSE: CX) lost ground due to difficulty in efforts to restructure its debt load and the negative impact of a weak peso.

Shares of General Motors (NYSE: GM) and Ford (NYSE: F) fell after a House-passed bill to lend $14 billion to automakers faced growing opposition from Republican senators.

Apparel maker Gildan Activewear (NYSE: GIL) curtailed its earnings outlook due to the higher cost of cotton.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 5 to 4 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks dropped 4 points to 472.

The markets closed modestly higher after an agreement was reached on the $15 billion bailout of the auto industry.  The Dow climbed 70 points to 8761 while Nasdaq gained 18 points to 1565.

On the upside

Private equity firm Green Courte Partners will pay approximately $438 million to acquire American Land Lease (NYSE: ANL).

Ivory Investment Management, which owns 1.5% of Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO), urged the Internet services provider to set aside differences and reopen negotiations with Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) in order to sell its search operations to Microsoft.

Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK) will increase its cash base.


On the downside

Bloomberg News reported that XL Capital (NYSE: XL) retained the services of Goldman Sachs to explore a possible sale of the company.

RBC Capital Markets downgraded Nova Chemicals (NYSE: NCX).

American International Group (NYSE: AIG) confirmed that the insurer was in the process of resolving nearly $10 billion in bad investments.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 7 to 3 on the NYSE and by nearly 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks climbed 11 points to 476.

Markets Up As Auto Deal Nears

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Investors lifted the markets higher during the midday with the Dow gaining 142 points to 8834 as the final details of a $15 billion aid to ailing automakers were being negotiated.  Nasdaq climbed 28 points to 1576.

On the upside

Focus Media Holding (NYSE: FMCN) will close its wireless advertising business which will result in a $20 million impairment charge and will also take a $200 million noncash restructuring charge in the fourth quarter for its in-store advertising network.

National Financial Partners (NYSE: NFP) amended its credit agreement to include more flexibility to weather current economic conditions.

Genworth Financial (NYSE: GNW) will acquire InterBank, subject to approval from the Office of Thrift Supervision and approval to participate in the government's Capital Purchase Program.


On the downside

Stifel Nicolaus downgraded TeleTech Holdings (Nasdaq: TTEC).

ADC Telecommunications (Nasdaq: ADCT) widened fourth quarter losses due to restructuring charges and inventory write-downs prompting a downgrade.

Libbey (NYSE: LBY) slashed its fourth quarter outlook and announced the closure of its Syracuse factory and Mira Loma distribution center.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 2 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks climbed 12 points to 478.

Congress put finishing touches to a package to give automakers a $15 billion lifeline through the winter months.   Stocks opened higher with the Dow rising over 100 points to 8804 while Nasdaq climbed 22 points to 1570.

On the upside

Rio Tinto Group (NYSE: RTP) announced plans to cut 14,000 jobs or 12.5% of its workforce while selling assets in order to reduce its debt load of $6.6 billion.

Shares of Office Depot (NYSE: ODP) edged higher after the company announced plans to shut down 112 stores.

Shares of DryShips (Nasdaq: DRYS) rallied again after the company cancelled plans to acquire 4 carriers.  The stock had more than doubled in price in a week.


On the downside

Shares of Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS) wilted after the video game publisher lowered its 2009 outlook while announcing plans to cut 6% of its workforce.

SunTrust (NYSE: STI) received approval to secure an extra $1.4 billion in bailout funds.  The regional bank had previously tapped $3.5 billion.  Analysts promptly downgraded the stock.

An analyst downgraded Axsys Technologies (Nasdaq: AXYS).  The company makes surveillance systems and optical devices for military and commercial applications.

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 rose 9 points to 475.

Profit warnings and job cuts weighed down the markets to a lower close with the Dow plunging 243 points to 8691 to end a two day rally.  Nasdaq dropped 24 points to 1547.

On the upside

Sunrise Senior Living (NYSE: SRZ) received proceeds of approximately $8.3 million after refinancing the debt from a joint venture.

Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS) licensed Nvidia's (Nasdaq: NVDA) Nvidia PhysX technology development platform to be used at the game developer's global studios.

Raymond James analyst Bryan C. Elliott upgraded O'Charley's (Nasdaq: CHUX) after the casual restaurant operator amended its credit facility.


On the downside

Shares of Sunstone Hotel (NYSE: SHO) fell ahead of its stockholder update call on Thursday.

Fitch lowered its ratings for Host Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: HOT) last week due to sharply lower travel and hotel stays as the economy continues to flounder.

Shareholders of National City (NYSE: NCC) have filed lawsuits to halt the sale of the commercial bank to PNC Financial Services (NYSE: PNC) saying that the sale price was too low.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plummeted 16 points to 466.

Markets Mixed Over More Job Cuts

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The markets traded mixed during the midday with the Dow dropping 80 points to 8854 as companies announced more job cuts.  Nasdaq rose 13 points to 1584.

On the upside

Hopes that early iron ore price negotiations in China will revive dry bulk shipping markets lifted shares of DryShips (Nasdaq: DRYS), TBS International (Nasdaq: TBSI) and Eagle Bulk Shipping (Nasdaq: EGLE).

Callon Petroleum (NYSE: CPE) announced that production has resumed at most of its Gulf of Mexico facilities after hurricane damage shut down processing.

Petrohawk Energy (NYSE: HK) said that its Haynesville wells are producing more than 20 million cubic feet of gas each day.


On the downside

Although The Pep Boys - Manny, Moe & Jack (NYSE: PBY) narrowed third quarter losses, revenue dropped to fall short of estimates.

Trucking company Con-way (NYSE: CNW) cut its 2008 profit outlook and announced the elimination of 1,450 jobs as shipping demand continues to fall.

Goldman Sachs downgraded Infineon (NYSE: IFX) saying that the semiconductor maker will need more cash in meet bond obligations in 2010.

In the broad market, advancing issues barely edged out decliners by a slim margin on the NYSE and by more than 10 to 9 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 2 points to 483.

Blue chip companies lowered their earnings outlook and announced job cuts amid the ongoing economic turmoil.  The Dow lost 68 points to 8865.  However, tech stocks were resilient as Nasdaq rose 14 points to 1586.

On the upside

Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN) lowered its 4th quarter revenue and earnings outlook.  However, investors had already discounted the company's valuation due to recent order cutbacks from Nokia (NYSE: NOK), which is the chipmaker's largest customer.

Aiming to cut costs, Sony (NYSE: SNE) announced plans to cut 8000 jobs worldwide or 4% of its work force.

EXCO Resources (NYSE: XCO) reported positive results from its wells in North Louisiana and East Texas.


On the downside

FedEx (NYSE: FDX) lowered its 2009 guidance and promised to cut costs.  Analysts promptly downgraded the company and the transportation sector.

The Kroger Company (NYSE: KR) posted higher 3rd quarter revenues and slightly lower profits.  The results missed expectations; the shortfall was blamed on Hurricane Ike which temporarily closed grocery stores in September.

Medical imaging device maker Analogic (Nasdaq: ALOG) blamed the weak economy for a drop in quarterly earnings that missed expectations.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by 5 to 4 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 3 points to 478.

Investors embraced President-elect Obama's announcement of the largest infrastructure investment plan in fifty years by boosting the markets to a sharply higher close with the Dow soaring 299 points to 8934.   Nasdaq jumped 62 points to 1572.

On the upside

James River Coal (Nasdaq: JRCC) stock surged over optimism that President-elect Obama's infrastructure investment plan will benefit the coal producer.

TBS Logistics (Nasdaq: TBSI) reported sharply higher third quarter revenue and earnings.

Shares of Cemex (NYSE: CX) climbed in hopes that President-elect Obama's economic stimulus plan will increase the cement company's revenue.

Hopes that President-elect Obama's infrastructure investment plan will increase construction projects lifted shares of AK Steel Holding (NYSE: AKS).


On the downside

Standard & Poor's is considering lowering the ratings of mortgage insurer PMI Group (NYSE: PMI) saying that the housing market continues to spiral downwards.

Tribune Co. (NYSE: TXA), owner of newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, filed for bankruptcy protection.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 7 to 2 on the NYSE and by 5 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks leaped 20 points to 481.

Optimism over President-elect Obama's economic stimulus plan boosted the markets during the midday with the Dow soaring 238 points to 8873.  Nasdaq jumped 48 points to 1557.

On the upside

Shares of DryShips (Nasdaq: DRYS) continued to rise as bargain hunters snapped up shares of the shipping company that has lost more than 90% of its market value over the last year.

Regulatory changes to life insurers' capital requirements could free billions to increase cash reserves lifting shares of Genworth Financial (NYSE: GNW).

President-elect Obama's plan for the largest investment in the nation's infrastructure in more than fifty years lifted shares of Alcoa (NYSE: AA).

As part of a restructuring plan to save $700 million annually, Dow Chemical (NYSE: DOW) announced the closure of 20 facilities and the elimination of 5,000 jobs.


On the downside

Williams-Sonoma (NYSE: WSM) swung to a loss for the third quarter as revenue fell.  The home good retailer also announced that it will no longer repurchase up to $150 million in stock.

News that the nation lost half a million jobs last month weighed down shares of professional staffing firm On Assignment (Nasdaq: ASGN).

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 3 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 18 points to 479.

Stocks opened higher across the board as investors expected a plan by President-elect Obama to expand the nation's infrastructure to bolster the economy.  The Dow surged nearly 250 points to 8882 while Nasdaq leaped 40 points to 1550.

On the upside

Shares of General Motors (NYSE: GM) and Ford (NYSE: F) rose on expectations that Congress will likely give the automakers a lifeline for the next few months in exchange for aggressive concessions.

Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK) cancelled a previously-announced stock offering and will sale assets to raise capital.

Shares of Hardford Financial Services (NYSE: HIG) continued to rally after the insurer reaffirmed its outlook for the year.

An analyst upgraded Leap Wireless (Nasdaq: LEAP) which provides digital phone services for consumers.


On the downside

Shares of Cubist Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: CBST) continued to retreat after an analysts questioned the company's licensing strategy.

Allos Therapeutics (Nasdaq: ALTH) announced that 27% of patients responded to a cancer drug treatment and would submit the drug to the FDA for approval.  A previous test had yielded similar results.  Investors sold off on the news.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 4 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 15 points to 476.

The markets rallied in the afternoon with the Dow jumping 259 points to 8635 over optimism that the federal government will implement more programs to jumpstart the economy.  Nasdaq leaped 64 points to 1509.

On the upside

Shares of mortgage insurer Genworth (NYSE: GNW) surged over a possible plan by the Treasury Department to lower interest rates to 4.5%.

Buckingham Research Group analyst Barbara Wyckoff upgraded Chico's FAS (NYSE: CHS) after the apparel retailer outlined its strategy to reduce expenses and manage inventory.

Shares of ProLogis (NYSE: PLD) surged despite a ratings downgrade from Moody's Investors Services.  Moody's expects the real estate investment trust's earnings to remain under pressure.


On the downside

Flow International (Nasdaq: FLOW) disappointed with lower second quarter earnings that fell short of estimates.

Packaging Corp. of America (NYSE: PKG) blamed sluggish demand for warning that fourth quarter results will fall short of expectations.

Morgan Keegan analyst Chris Pikul downgraded Berry Petroleum (NYSE: BRY) citing falling crude oil prices as well as the company's high debt levels.

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 surged 21 points to 461.

Soaring unemployment sparked fears of an even deeper and prolonged recession sending the markets lower during the midday with the Dow tumbling 90 points to 8286.  Nasdaq fell 6 points to 1439.

On the upside

Thoratec (Nasdaq: THOR) reported that its new, smaller HeartMate II implanted device is more effective than an older model.

Microsemi (Nasdaq: MSCC) said that while the company is reviewing chief executive James Peterson's academic records, the chipmaker remains confident of Peterson's leadership.

Prudential Financial (NYSE: PRU) will sell its stake in Wachovia Securities to Wells Fargo and has applied to participate in the government's capital purchase program.


On the downside

Orexigen Therapeutics (Nasdaq: OREX) halted mid-stage clinical trials of two experimental weight loss drugs in order to have enough resources to continue late-stage studies.

Barclays cited higher risks from contract renegotiations for downgrading Energy Conversion Devices (Nasdaq: ENER).

Argentina sued a unit of AES (NYSE: AES) alleging that the electricity distribution company improperly transferred debt which rendered the company underfunded.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 3 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 3 points to 437.

Employers cut 533,000 jobs in November as the unemployment rate rose to 6.7%, its highest level in 15 years.   Meanwhile, oil prices fell to the $42 a barrel level.  The Dow lost nearly 100 points to 8278 while Nasdaq fell 16 points to 1429.

On the upside

General Motors (NYSE: GM) announced plans to cut 2,000 factory jobs early next week even as its CEO pleads for bailout funds from Congress.

Safeway (NYSE: SWY) projected growth through aggressive cost-cutting in 2009.  Analysts promptly upgraded the grocery chain.

Shares of Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE: HIG) surged after the insurer raised its current quarter and full-year outlook.


On the downside

Shareholders on Merrill Lynch (NYSE: ML) approved the investment bank's sale to Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) to become the nation's largest financial services company.

Closeout retailer Big Lots (NYSE: BIG) posted weak sales growth and flat earnings.  Analysts had expected its discounted products to attract more bargain shoppers.

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) has hired a former Yahoo search executive to lead its online services group.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks fell 5 points to 434.

Stocks tumbled during the last hour of trading as investors worried about unemployment and lower corporate earnings.  Oil prices sank to a 4-year low while the Dow lost 215 points to close at 8376.  Nasdaq plunged 46 points to 1445.

On the upside

A shareholder lawsuit against the merger of JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) and investment bank Bear Stearns was dismissed.  Shares of JPMorgan Chase edged higher bucking an industry sell-off.

Shares of Collective Brands (NYSE: PSS) rose after the shoe retailer posted higher revenues and earnings.


On the downside

Shares of Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX) edged lower after warning that its quarterly profits would fall short of analysts' expectations.

General Motors (NYSE: GM) expressed a willingness to merge with Chrysler as a requisite to take government bailout funds.

Investors sold off shares of Cirrus Logic (Nasdaq: CRUS) after the electronic components maker lowered its revenue outlook.

Layne Christensen (Nasdaq: LAYN) posted higher 3rd quarter revenues and profits, but the results missed expectations.  The company provides drilling and construction services.


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 fell 14 points to close at 439.

Weak retail sales figures along with jobless benefits recipients climbing to a 26-year high weighed down the markets during the midday with the Dow tumbling 84 points to 8508.  Nasdaq fell 13 points to 1480.

On the upside

ParkerVision (Nasdaq: PRKR) and LG Innotek entered a joint development agreement to create multi-mode, multi-band handset modules.

YRC Worldwide (Nasdaq: YRCW) chief executive Bill Zollars reassured investors that proposed wage cuts between $225 million to $250 million and other cost cutting measures to save another $200 million will be enough to keep the company afloat.

Although Smithfield Foods (NYSE: SFD) reported sharply lower second quarter earnings that fell short of estimates, the pork producer said that its liquidity was strong, pork volumes rose and is expected to continue rising as consumers seek less expensive meat.


On the downside

Cirrus Logic (Nasdaq: CRUS) warned that third quarter revenue will fall as clients reduce their orders.


While Diamond Foods (Nasdaq: DMND) reported higher first quarter results that topped estimates, the nuts and snack company forecast second quarter earnings below expectations.


Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD) warned of lower fourth quarter revenue due to weak demand.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 5 to 4 on the NYSE while advancers edged out decliners by nearly 10 to 9 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 2 points to 455.

Retailers reported disappointing November sales as consumers cut back on spending.   While new jobless claims unexpectedly fell last week, numerous companies announced job cuts.   The Dow gave up 11 points to 8580 while Nasdaq lost 5 points to 1487.

On the upside

Toll Brothers (NYSE: TOL) posted a smaller 4th quarter loss due to fewer write-downs on falling property value.   The homebuilder's guidance for 2009 remained murky.

Synopsys (Nasdaq: SNPS) reported higher revenues and earnings despite a weak global economy and reaffirmed its outlook for 2009.  The company provides software used in semiconductor design and manufacturing.

Copart (Nasdaq: CPRT) posted an increase in revenues and a slight decrease in profits.  The company sells salvaged vehicles on behalf of financial institutions.


On the downside

Executives from General Motors (NYSE: GM), Ford (NYSE: F), and privately-held Chrysler continued to plead for bailout money.   Getting enough votes from Congress to approve the $34 billion package remained uncertain.


DuPont (NYSE: DD) blamed weakness in the construction and automotive industries for a projected 4th quarter loss.   The chemical maker also announced plans to cut 2500 jobs.


Shares of AT&T (NYSE: T) edged lower after it announced plans to cut 12,000 jobs or 4% of its workforce.


In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 2to 1 on the NYSE and by 5 to 4 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 3 points to 450.

Although productivity growth slowed and activity in the services sector sharply contracted, the market closed higher due to bargain hunting.  The Dow soared 173 points to 8592 while Nasdaq leaped 43 points to 1492.

On the upside

Speculation that Toshiba is considering acquiring SanDisk (Nasdaq: SNDK) lifted shares of the chip maker.

Polypore International (NYSE: PPO) subsidiary Celgard received a contract from the United States Advanced Battery Consortium valued at $2.3 million to develop lithium-ion battery separators.

W. R. Grace & Co. (NYSE: GRA) settled a class action lawsuit related to the use of asbestos by agreeing to pay $140 million into a trust fund.


On the downside

Fortress Investment Group (NYSE: FIG) temporarily suspended redemptions from the company's largest hedge fund.

WuXi Pharma Tech (NYSE: WX) will shutter its U. S. biologics manufacturing operations at the end of the year.

Barclays lowered its price target for Micron Technology (NYSE: MU).

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 12 points to 454.

Bargain Hunters Spark Rebound

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The markets rebounded during the midday despite a sharp contraction in the services sector as investors snapped up bargains.  The Dow climbed 139 points to 8558 while Nasdaq surged 32 points to 1482.

On the upside

Marvell Technology (Nasdaq: MRVL) reversed year ago losses to post a better than expected profit as revenue rose.

Del Monte Foods (NYSE: DLM) lifted its sales outlook for fiscal 2009 and expects earnings in the mid-range of its previous forecast.

Shares of Beazer Homes (NYSE: BZH) rebounded after falling yesterday when the homebuilder widened fourth quarter losses and warned of further losses through 2009.


On the downside

Concerns about consumer spending weighed down shares of HSN (Nasdaq: HSN).

Palm (Nasdaq: PALM) warned of sharply lower second quarter revenue and announced job cuts as well as the consolidation of offices in order to trim expenses.

II-VI (Nasdaq: IIVI) blamed soft demand for lowering its second quarter as well as its full year earnings and revenue guidance.


In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 3 to 2 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks soared 11 points to 453.

More job losses and lower corporate profits weighed on the markets as investors took profits from yesterday's rebound.  The Dow lost 130 points to 8288 while Nasdaq fell 20 points to 1428.

On the upside

Shares of OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: OGXI) nearly doubled in value after the company reported positive results extending the life of patients using its prostate cancer drug treatment.

Warren Buffett's $4.7 billion offer for Constellation Energy (NYSE: CEG) hit a hurdle following a rival bid from Electricite de France SA, which was willing to pay almost as much money for half of the company.


On the downside

Shares of BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) fell in early trading as the company lowered its outlook below analysts' estimates.

Mining company Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (NYSE: FCX) suspended its dividend and announced production cuts due to slumping metals prices.

Oil prices briefly fell to 3-year lows in overnight trading.  Shares of Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) and Chevron (NYSE: CVX) lost ground.

Infineon Technologies (NYSE: IFX) posted a wider 4th quarter loss and projected losses for 2009.  Shares of the semiconductor maker promptly fell.


In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 7 points to 434.

Ford May Not Need Bailout

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The markets closed higher with the Dow leaping 270 points to 8419 as bargain hunters found deals and Ford said it may not need a government loan to survive.  Nasdaq jumped 52 points to 1450.

On the upside

Shares of Nexen (NYSE: NXY) surged although the energy company issued a press release stating that there was no corporate news to account for the stock price gain.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the former chief executive of AOL, Jonathan Miller, was attempting to raise capital to purchase all or part of Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) for $28 billion to $30 billion.

General Electric (NYSE: GE) announced job cuts as well as a restructuring of its finance business and warned that fourth quarter results will be at the low end of its previous guidance.


On the downside

Skyworks Solutions (Nasdaq: SWKS) blamed falling demand for lowering its earnings and revenue outlooks for the current quarter.

Sierra Wireless (Nasdaq: SWIR) will pay approximately $276.1 million in cash to acquire French machine-to-maching wireless technology company Wavecom SA.

Morgan Keegan downgraded Callon Petroleum (NYSE: CPE).

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 25 points to 442.

The markets continued to advance during the midday with the Dow soaring 262 points to 8411 as the Big Three automakers submitted their plans for a $25 billion bailout of the industry.  Nasdaq surged 52 points to 1450.

On the upside

ProLogis (NYSE: PLD) declared a dividend of $1.0675 per Series C preferred share payable on December 31 to shareholders of record December 16.  The company also announced that it closed a $105.8 million financing facility.

Cowen and Co. analyst Laura Champine upgraded Williams-Sonoma (NYSE: WSM) citing the company's valuation.  The stock price has tumbled approximately 66% since September.

Colonial Properties Trust (NYSE: CLP) declared a quarterly dividend of $0.5078125 per share of Series D preferred shares payable on February 2, 2009 to shareholders of record January 15, 2009.


On the downside

An International Trade Commission judged ruled that Tessera Technologies' (Nasdaq: TSRA) patents were not infringed upon by technology companies prompting a downgrade.

General Growth Properties (NYSE: GGP) will extend the maturity date of $58 million in notes to December 11.

Beazer Homes (NYSE: BZH) widened fourth quarter losses by more than three times and warned that losses will continue through 2009.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 17 points to 434.

Stocks edged higher after yesterday's sell-off as investors eyed declines in corporate earnings.   The Dow rose 34 points to 8183 while Nasdaq climbed 13 points to 1411.

On the upside

Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS) reported lower 3rd quarter profits, but the results for the world's largest office supplier beat Wall Street estimates.

Shares of Sears Holdings (Nasdaq: SHLD) edged higher after the struggling retailer posted a bigger-than-expected loss for the 3rd quarter.  The company also withdrew its operating profit outlook due to uncertain consumer spending.

Medicis Pharmaceutical (NYSE: MRX) settled a patent dispute over a generic acne drug with Impax Laboratories.


On the downside

Shares of Research in Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) fell to a 2-year low after rival Nokia (NYSE: NOK) unveiled a $700 touch screen phone.  Shares of Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) which makes a competing iPhone also lost ground.

Shares of Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE: GS) dropped as investors prepared for the investment bank's first quarterly loss.  Some analysts target a loss of as much as $2 billion.

Biotech company XenoPort (Nasdaq: XNPT) reported disappointing results for its midstage trial of its reflux disease drug treatment.


In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 3 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 5 points to 422.

Year Long Recession Confirmed

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The markets posted heavy losses with the Dow collapsing 680 points to 8149 after the National Bureau of Economic Research confirmed that the nation was in the grips of a recession and has been for nearly a year.  Nasdaq slumped 138 points to 1398.

On the upside

Shares of Rambus (NYSE: RMBS) continued climbing after a judge ruled last week that several chip makers violated patents held by the company.


On the downside

United Airlines parent UAL (Nasdaq: UAUA) will raise $200 million through the sale of common stock.  Credit Suisse analyst Daniel McKenzie dropped his price target on the airliner from $17 to $13.

Sandler O'Neill analyst Richard Repetto expects a 20% drop in daily average revenue trades from online traders E-Trade (Nasdaq: ETFC) and Charles Schwab (Nasdaq: SCHW) in November.

While a federal appeals court agreed with a lower court that Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM) should have revealed that it held two Internet video patents, it ruled that the patents are unenforceable only when applied to h.264 products.

General Electric (NYSE: GE) will unveil reorganization plans for its financial unit GE Capital on Tuesday.  Analysts expect the company to lower its 2009 earnings outlook as well.

Borders Group (NYSE: BGP) stock continued to fall after the bookseller reported third quarter earnings that fell far short of analyst expectations.


In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 7 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 6 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plummeted 50 points to 423.

Nation In A Recession

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The National Bureau of Economic Research announced that the nation has been in a recession since 2007 sending the markets tumbling during the midday with the Dow slumping 451 points to 8378.  Nasdaq skidded 95 points to 1441.

On the upside

Oppenheimer & Co. upgraded Premiere Global Services (NYSE: PGI) saying that corporate cost cutting measures should increase demand for Premiere's teleconferencing products.


On the downside

Pilgrim's Pride (NYSE: PPC) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  Falling meat prices and debt associated with the acquisition of Gold Kist has hurt the chicken producer.

Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) priced $1 billion of its five year notes at a yield of 2.861%.

Standard & Poor's will move Liz Claiborne (NYSE: LIZ) from the S&P 500 to the S&P SmallCap 600 at the end of trading today because the clothing company's market capitalization has fallen.

Shares of Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) and Merrill Lynch (NYSE: MER) all fell after disappointing manufacturing data sparked concerns of a deepening economic crisis.

Sprint (NYSE: S) and Clearwire completed its $14.5 billion merger creating a new WiMAX company offering ultra-fast, wireless broadband service under the brand name Clear.


In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 7 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plummeted 34 points to 440.

Black Friday sales were brisk, but analysts remained negative about the overall holiday shopping season.  Meanwhile, world markets fell in overnight trading on worries of a steep economic slowdown in China and Europe.  The Dow tumbled more than 250 points to 8550 while Nasdaq lost nearly 50 points to 1485.

On the upside

Shares of Mentor Corp. (NYSE: MNT) nearly doubled in value after Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) offered more than $1 billion in cash to buy the cosmetic product and breast implant maker.

Automakers are scheduled to report November U.S. auto sales on Tuesday while appearing before Congress a second time to ask for $25 billion in loans.  Shares of General Motors (NYSE: GM) and Ford (NYSE: F) edged higher.  Chrysler is managed by a private equity firm.

U.S. private equity group KKR planned to bid for Telvent GIT (Nasdaq: TLVT), an information technology company with solutions in the healthcare, public administration, and managed services areas.


On the downside

General Growth Properties (NYSE: GGP) received a 2 week reprieve on more than $900 million in mortgage loans, but analysts believe the staggering debt may lead to a bankruptcy filing for the nation's 2nd largest shopping mall owner unless it can sell of its Las Vegas properties.

Emerson Electric (NYSE: EMR) revealed lower October order rates due to a strong dollar eroding revenues from overseas sales.

One of Citigroup's funds (NYSE: C) agreed to take over a Spanish highway operator in a deal valued at $10 billion which includes $6.3 billion in debt.


In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 6 to 1 on the NYSE and by 3 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slid 40 points to 856.

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