April 2009 Archives

It was a mixed close for the markets with the Dow losing 17 points to 8168 as Chrysler filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  Nasdaq added 5 points to 1717.

On the upside

Expedia (Nasdaq: EXPE) reported lower first quarter earnings due to restructuring charges and lower revenue but the results beat expectations.

First quarter earnings for First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR) more than tripled as the company cut production costs and signed new projects.

Human Genome Sciences (NYSE: HGSI) reversed year ago losses to post a profit for the first quarter due to sales of its anthrax treatment.

On the downside

Eastman Kodak (NYSE: EK) widened first quarter losses as sales plunged.  The company suspended its quarterly dividend and lowered the salaries of senior executives,

First quarter earnings for Safeway (NYSE: SWY) fell to miss estimates as consumers spent less.

Assurant (NYSE: AIZ) disappointed with lower first quarter earnings due to the challenging economic environment.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 4 to 3 on the NYSE while advancers were on par with decliners on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 3 points to 487.

The markets pulled back from early morning gains with the Dow adding 4 points to 8190 as soaring foreclose starts along with Chrysler's bankruptcy weighed on investors.  Nasdaq gained 15 points to 1727.

On the upside

Bare Escentuals (Nasdaq: BARE) reported lower first quarter earnings as consumers spent less but the results topped estimates.

Second quarter earnings for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (Nasdaq: GMCR) more than doubled prompting the company to lift its full year guidance.  The coffee company also announced a deal to distribute single cup brewers to over 3,000 Wal-Mart stores.

Newell Rubbermaid (NYSE: NWL) posted sharply lower first quarter earnings as sales fell but the results beat expectations.

On the downside

JDS Uniphase (NYSE: JDSU) widened third quarter losses and forecast disappointing fourth quarter revenue.

Quantum (NYSE: QTM) narrowed fourth quarter losses but revenue dropped.

Motorola (NYSE: MOT) widened fourth quarter losses as sales fell and reported that its cash position tumbled approximately $1 billion during the past three months.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by more than 7 to 5 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 2 points to 493.

Negotiations with hedge funds crumbled overnight in a last-minute effort to stave off a bankruptcy filing by Chrysler.  Meanwhile, investors mulled over the latest economic reports in hopes of finding more signs of an economic recovery.  The Dow rose 89 points to 8275 while Nasdaq surged 30 points to 1742.

On the upside

Dow Chemical (NYSE: DOW) reported lower revenues and a meager profit, but the results beat expectations of a quarterly loss.

Ashland  (NYSE: ASH) posted lower revenues and profits, but the chemical company beat estimates.

MGM Mirage (NYSE: MGM), Dubai World and their lenders have struck a deal to finish a $8.5 billion Las Vegas Strip development.

On the downside

Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) posted a sharp drop in profits to miss analysts' targets.  Lower oil prices were blamed for the shortfall.

Shares of Sequenom (Nasdaq: SQNM) tumbled after the company delayed the launch of its Down syndrome test.

LoJack (Nasdaq: LOJN) posted a quarterly loss and suspended its outlook due to the uncertainty in the automotive industry.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on both the NYSE and Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose 6 points to 497.

Reassurances from the Federal Reserve that the recession is easing lifted the markets to a sharply higher close with the Dow leaping 168 points to 8185.  Nasdaq surged 38 points to 1711.

On the upside

Although first quarter earnings for Massey Energy (NYSE: MEE) barely edged up, revenue rose to surpass expectations.

First quarter earnings for Arthur J. Gallagher (NYSE: AJG) beat estimates by a wide margin.

Affiliated Managers Group (NYSE: AMG) reported sharply lower first quarter earnings but the results topped estimates.

On the downside

VisionChina Media (Nasdaq: VISN) reported higher first quarter earnings as revenue surged but the stock price fell as investors locked in profits.

First quarter earnings for Carter's (NYSE: CRI) rose to surpass expectations but the children's clothing maker warned that second quarter results will fall as sales drop.

Olympic Steel (Nasdaq: ZEUS) swung to a loss for the first quarter as demand tumbled and cut its quarterly dividend.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 9 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 7 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks leaped 18 points to 491.

Despite a larger than expected contraction of the nation's economy during the first quarter, the markets surged with the Dow soaring 149 points to 8166 over upbeat earnings.  Nasdaq jumped 38 points to 1711.

On the upside

Psychiatric Solutions (Nasdaq: PSYS) reported higher first quarter earnings as patient services rose.

DreamWorks Animation (Nasdaq: DWA) impressed with first quarter earnings that more than doubled to surpass expectations by a wide margin.

Sunrise Senior Living (NYSE: SRZ) signed a twelfth amendment to its credit facility.

On the downside

First quarter earnings for Panera Bread (Nasdaq: PNRA) rose to match estimates but the stock price fell.

Although first quarter earnings for Aetna (NYSE: AET) rose, unexpected costs weighed down shares of the managed care company.

Total System Services (NYSE: TSS) disappointed with lower first quarter earnings as revenue fell and announced that it will sell its TSYS Debt Management subsidiary.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 6 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 7 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks jumped 16 points to 489.

The U.S. economy shrank 6.1% during the 1st quarter, but investors were mostly focused on the Federal Reserve Bank's decision on interest rates.  The Dow surged 118 points to 8135 while Nasdaq leaped 23 points to 1697.

On the upside

Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE: WYN) posted higher 1st quarter profits as cost-cutting offset reduced demand for hotel and vacation time shares.

Shares of drug developer Dendreon (Nasdaq: DNDN) recovered after a mysterious sell-off that halved the stock price late yesterday.  Analysts reiterated that its prostate cancer drug treatment hold promise.

Managed computing services provider Savvis (Nasdaq: SVVS) reported higher revenues and earnings and reaffirmed its outlook.

On the downside

Novavax (Nasdaq: NVAX) paid off $17 million in debt with 70% cash and 30% in new stock.  Investors sold of shares of the vaccine research company due to the dilution.

E*Trade Financial (Nasdaq: ETFC) posted a sizable loss as the online brokerage prepared to raise more capital to shore up its balance sheet.  Analysts promptly downgraded the stock.

Shares of VF Corp (NYSE: VFC) fell sharply after the apparel maker reported lower 1st quarter profits and lowered its outlook for the rest of the year.

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 rose 7 points to 480.

Despite an unexpected surge in consumer confidence, the markets closed lower with the Dow slipping 8 points to 8016 over concerns that banks must raise additional funds.  Nasdaq lost 5 points to 1673.

On the upside

Jefferies & Co. upgraded Quicksilver Resources (NYSE: KWK).

First quarter earnings for Under Armour (NYSE: UA) rose to top estimates after the successful launch of the company's new running shoe.

Meritage Homes (NYSE: MTH) narrowed first quarter losses.

On the downside

Although second quarter earnings rose for Jacobs Engineering (NYSE: JEC), revenue fell short of estimates and the company lowered its full year outlook.

Fresh Del Monte Produce (NYSE: FDP) blamed bad weather and the stronger dollar for first quarter earnings that dropped to miss expectations.

Level 3 Communications (NYSE: LVLT) narrowed first quarter losses but revenue fell short of expectations.

In the broad market, advancing issues barely edged out decliners by a slim margin on the NYSE while advancers outpaced decliners by nearly 7 to 5 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap added 3 points to 472.

An unexpected surge in consumer confidence lifted the markets modestly higher during the midday with the Dow edging up 3 points to 8028.  Nasdaq added 3 points to 1682.

On the upside

Dendreon (Nasdaq: DNDN) announced that its D-3263 treatment has potential to reduce benign prostatic hyperplasia.

First quarter earnings for Waters (NYSE: WAT) rose to beat expectations by a wide margin as expenses dropped.

Aaron's (NYSE: AAN) reported sharply higher first quarter earnings that surpassed estimates prompting the appliance and furniture rental company to lift its full year outlook.

On the downside

Seaspan (NYSE: SSW) reversed year ago losses to post a first quarter profit but revenue fell short of estimates and the company slashed its dividend.

Masco (NYSE: MAS) swung to a first quarter loss as new home construction tumbled prompting the building products maker to cut its full year outlook.

Olin (NYSE: OLN) reported higher first quarter income but the results missed expectations and the company forecast disappointing second quarter results.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 5 to 4 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap climbed 7 points to 477.

The World Health Organization increased its alert level for the swine flu outbreak indicating that the virus is significantly transmissable human to human.  The markets opened lower with the Dow dropping 70 points to 7954.  Nasdaq fell 14 points to 1665.

On the upside

While Parexel International (Nasdaq: PRXL) reported flat third quarter earnings as expenses rose, the company raised its full year earnings guidance.

Office Depot (NYSE: ODP) blamed the slumping global economy for swinging to a first quarter loss but the results beat analyst expectations.

Southwestern Energy (NYSE: SWN) cited a significant impairment charge for swinging to a loss for the first quarter but the results surpassed estimates.


On the downside

Although Rent-A-Center (Nasdaq: RCII) reported higher first quarter earnings, revenue slipped to fall short of estimates and the company forecast disappointing second quarter results prompting a downgrade.

Unisys (NYSE: UIS) widened first quarter losses as revenue fell.

Delphi Financial Group (NYSE: DFG) priced its public offering of 3 million shares of common stock at $17.50 per share.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap lost 2 points to 467.

Markets Down Over Swine Flu Fears

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Investors fearful that a worldwide outbreak of the swine flu will exacerbate the slumping global economy sent the markets down to a lower close with the Dow falling 51 points to 8025.  Nasdaq dropped 14 points to 1679.

On the upside

JP Morgan initiated coverage of Thompson Creek Metals (NYSE: TC).

Inverness Medical (NYSE: IMA) reversed year ago losses to post a profit for the first quarter that surpassed analyst estimates.

Although first quarter earnings for Corning (NYSE: GLW) plunged due to sharply lower sales, the results beat expectations.


On the downside

XenoPort's (Nasdaq: XNPT) pain medication for diabetes patients failed a midstage clinical trial.

Shares of Clear Channel (NYSE: CCO) fell after Jefferies & Co. downgraded the outdoor advertising company Friday.

The swine flu outbreak in Mexico weighed down shares of Mexican airport operator Grupo Aeroportuario Del Sureste (NYSE: ASR).

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap dropped 9 points to 469.

Concerns that a swine flu outbreak will further weaken the fragile global economy weighed down the markets during the midday with the Dow dropping 66 points to 8009.  Nasdaq lost 15 points to 1679.

On the upside

Shares of Hecla Mining (NYSE: HL) rose ahead of its earnings release tomorrow.

Although first quarter earnings for Whirlpool (NYSE: WHR) tumbled, the results topped estimates and the major appliance maker affirmed its full year guidance.

Shares of Beazer Homes (NYSE: BZH) and Hovnanian Enterprises (NYSE: HOV) continued to rise after a smaller than expected slip in new home sales report last week.


On the downside

UBS analyst William Truelove downgraded DiamondRock Hospitality (Nasdaq: DRH) after a recent surge in the stock price.

Shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE: RCL) and Carnival (NYSE: CCL) plunged over fears that the swine flu outbreak will further hurt the travel industry.

Shares of pork producer Smithfield Foods (NYSE: SFD) plunged amidst fears of the swine flue.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 7 to 3 on the NYSE and by nearly 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap tumbled 9 points to 469.

Swine Flu Fears Sink Stocks

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Fears of a global swine flu pandemic sent the markets down to a lower open with the Dow losing 39 points to 8037.  Nasdaq dropped 10 points to 1684.

On the upside

Shares of antiviral makers Novavax (Nasdaq: NVAX) and BioCryst Pharmaceutical (Nasdaq: BCRX) surged as the swine flu continued to spread.

PURE Bioscience (Nasdaq: PURE) announced that its PureGreen24 antimicrobial treatment meets CDC recommendations for treating patients with swine flu.

General Motors (NYSE: GM) will discontinue its Pontiac brand of cars and eliminate 21,000 jobs.


On the downside

B/E Aerospace (Nasdaq: BEAV) blamed the slumping economy for slashing its full year earnings and revenue guidance.

Shares of United Airlines parent UAL (Nasdaq: UAUA) and Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL)tumbled over concerns that the swine flu outbreak will drastically curtail travel plans.

Orient-Express Hotels (NYSE: OEH) warned that it will report a first quarter loss of $14.6 million.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 6 to 3 on the NYSE and by 3 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks fell 5 points to 473.

Upbeat earnings along with better than expected sales of new homes lifted the markets to a higher close with the Dow climbing 119 points to 8076.  Nasdaq jumped 42 points to 1694.

On the upside

While Informatica (Nasdaq: INFA) posted flat first quarter earnings, revenue rose prompting an upgrade.

Mohawk Industries (NYSE: MHK) swung to a wider than expected loss for the first quarter as revenue fell but the floor covering products maker forecast second quarter results well ahead of estimates.

Better than expected sales of new homes last month lifted shares of homebuilder Beazer Homes (NYSE: BZH).


On the downside

First quarter earnings for Arch Coal (NYSE: ACI) plunged as demand tumbled and the company forecast disappointingly low full year results.

Invesco (NYSE: IVZ) disappointed with first quarter earnings that plummeted as revenue plunged by nearly 40%.

Robert W. Baird analyst Eric Coldwell downgraded IMS Health (NYSE: RX) saying that the company's revenue will most likely fall short of estimates.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by 5 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks leaped 12 points to 478.

Better than expected new home sales lifted investor enthusiasm during the midday to boost the markets higher with the Dow soaring 138 points to 8095.  Nasdaq surged 40 points to 1692.

On the upside

Accel-KKR will acquire SumTotal Systems (Nasdaq: SUMT) in an all cash deal valued at approximately $124 million.

Although first quarter earnings for The Cheesecake Factore (Nasdaq: CAKE) fell, the results beat expectations prompting an upgrade.

PMC-Sierra (Nasdaq: PMCS) narrowed first quarter losses to top analyst estimates.


On the downside

The Department of Justice issued a subpoena for Immucor (Nasdaq: BLUD) requesting documents related to an investigation into possible violations of antitrust laws.

UCBH Holdings (Nasdaq: UCBH) swung to a first quarter loss as income fell and loan loss provisions soared.

Harbinger Capital Partners Master Fund will sell 20 million shares of Calpine (Nasdaq: CPN) stock.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks soared 11 points to 477.

Investors were gratified with corporate earnings news that surpassed lowered expectations.  The Dow rose 40 points to a shade below 8000 while Nasdaq climbed 11 points to 1663.

On the upside

Ford (NYSE: F) posted a $1.4 billion quarterly loss, but the automaker expected to return to profitability without having to draw from federal bailout funds.  The stock surged.

3M (NYSE: MMM), the maker of Post-it notes and Scotch tap, reported earnings that nearly fell in half and lowered its outlook for the year.   The company annnounced another round of job cuts of 1200 positions.

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) reported lower quarterly revenues, but analysts were optimistic about its upcoming Windows 7 operating system.

Shares of Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) rose after the online retailer posted higher 1st quarter revenues and sales that beat estimates.

Shares of Riverbed Technology (Nasdaq: RVBD) soared after the data service provider reported higher 1st quarter profits.

On the downside

City National (NYSE: CYN) posted sharply lower quarterly earnings and announced plans to eliminate its dividend.  Analysts promptly downgraded the California-based commercial bank.

Shares of Interactive Brokers (Nasdaq: IBKR) fell after the market maker and electronic brokerage posted sharply lower revenues and earnings.

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 rose 2 points to 469.

Despite a disappointing drop in existing home sales, the markets rallied in late afternoon trading to close higher with the Dow climbing 70 points to 7957 as several regional banks posted better than expected earnings.  Nasdaq gained 6 points to 1652.

On the upside

Although Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE: RCL) swung to a loss for the first quarter, the results were better than expected.

Marriott International (NYSE: MAR) posted a first quarter loss but the results topped analyst estimates.

Shares of Developers Diversified Realty (NYSE: DDR) surged ahead of its earnings release after market close.

On the downside

Anadys Pharmaceutical (Nasdaq: ANDS) reported upbeat trial results for its hepatitis C treatment ANA598 but a number of patients developed rashes which prompted them to drop out of the studies while sparking safety concerns.

Old Republic International (NYSE: ORI) widened first quarter losses as revenue tumbled.

Bunge (NYSE: BG) swung to a first quarter loss as sales tumbled prompting the company to cut its full year guidance.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 3 to 2 on the NYSE while decliners edged out advancers by nearly 5 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 4 points to 466.

Existing home sales fell to weigh down the markets during the midday with the Dow losing 28 points to 7857.  Nasdaq fell 7 points to 1638.

On the upside

Fifth Third Bancorp  (Nasdaq: FITB) swung to a first quarter loss but the results were better than expected.

First quarter earnings for Pactiv (NYSE: PTV) nearly tripled as production costs fell.

LodgeNet Interactive (Nasdaq: LNET) reversed year ago losses to post a profit for the first quarter.


On the downside

Although Omniture (Nasdaq: OMTR) narrowed first quarter losses, expenses rose and the company forecast second quarter results below estimates.

First quarter earnings for VMware (NYSE: VMW) surged but the virtualization software maker warned that current quarter sales will disappoint prompting downgrades.

Intersil (Nasdaq: ISIL) blamed sharply lower revenue for first quarter earnings that plunged.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 4 on the NYSE and by nearly 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks tumbled 7 points to 463.

Stocks opened mostly higher as investors mulled over the latest batch of corporate earnings, most of which beat lowered targets.  The Dow rose 20 points to 7906 while Nasdaq added 3 points to 1649.

On the upside

Raytheon  (NYSE: RTN) posted higher 1st quarter profits and raised its full-year outlook due to strong sales of missiles and defense equipment.

PNC Financial Services Group (NYSE: PNC) took investors by surprise and reported an increase in earnings boosted by cost savings from its purchase of National City Corp.

Shares of eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) surged after the online auction and e-commerce provider posted lower revenues and earnings that surpassed expectations.

Strong sales of iPhones boosted Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) which reported higher profits that beat estimates.

On the downside

UPS (NYSE:UPS) posted a sharp decline in earnings as global demand for premium package delivery fell.

Scientific instrument maker Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE: TMO) reported lower profits and sales while slashing its outlook for the year.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a points to 471.
Disappointing earnings ended the stock market rally in late afternoon trading with the Dow dropping 82 points to 7886.  Nasdaq added 2 points to 1646.

On the upside

SanDisk (NYSE: SNDK) swung to a loss for the first quarter as revenue tumbled but the results topped analyst estimates.

Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS) amended its debt agreements.

Although first quarter earnings for RC2 (Nasdaq: RCRC) slipped, the results surpassed analyst expectations.

On the downside

A jury sided with Hansen Medical in its lawsuit against Luna Innovations (Nasdaq: LUNA) for breach of contract and awarded Hansen approximately $36 million in damages.

Infinera (Nasdaq: INFN) swung to a wider than expected loss for the first quarter as revenue tumbled.

JPMorgan analyst Jamie Baker downgraded Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) after the company reported a first quarter loss.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 4 on the NYSE and by 10 to 9 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a fraction to 470.

Markets Rebound

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The markets rebounded during the midday with the Dow gaining 57 points to 8027 as investors brushed aside Morgan Stanley's disappointing loss.  Nasdaq climbed 28 points to 1672.

On the upside

Temple-Inland (NYSE: TIN) reversed year ago losses to post a profit that beat expectations by a wide margin.

AirTran Holdings (NYSE: AAI) reported a better than expected first quarter profit even as revenue slipped.

Goldman Sachs analyst Patrick Archambault upgraded Ford (NYSE: F).

On the downside

Although Pharmaceutical Produce Development (Nasdaq: PPDI) reported higher first quarter earnings, revenue fell and the contract drug research company cut its full year guidance.

Plains Exploration & Production (NYSE: PXP) increased its public offering of common shares by 2 million to 12 million.

Analysts downgraded KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY) after the regional bank swung to a first quarter loss.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners 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 climbed 9 points to 479.
Investors focused on disappointing results from Morgan Stanley while overlooking earnings from blue chip companies.  The Dow lost 40 points to 7930 while Nasdaq slipped 6 points to 1637.

On the upside

Boeing (NYSE: BA) posted 1st quarter profits that fell in half as the output of aircraft production slowed down along with the global economy.   Investors were relieved with the results and snapped up oversold shares.

Restaurant chain P.F. Chang's China Bistro (Nasdaq: PFCB) posted a 33% increase in quarterly profits and narrowly higher revenues despite lower same-store sales and declining foot traffic.


On the downside

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) posted a loss that surpassed expectations as the banking giant took charges due to a weak commercial real estate market.

Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) reported a profit that met its upwardly-revised targets.  However, its shares were unable to overcome the sell-off in the financial sector.

Continetal Airlines (NYSE: CAL) posted a loss due to reduced travel and a decline of first class passenger bookings.

Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) announced a modest profit and plans to cut 700 jobs.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 4 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 4 points to 466.

&lt;p&gt;Better than expected earnings boosted the markets to a higher close with the Dow soaring 127 points to 7969.  Nasdaq leaped 35 points to 1643.&lt;/p&gt;<br /> &lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;On the upside&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;/p&gt;<br />

&lt;p&gt;Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) narrowed first quarter losses and announced a $50 fee on international flights to check a second bag.&lt;/p&gt;<br />

&lt;p&gt;Lincoln National (NYSE: LNC) will solicit bids in the next few weeks for its Delaware Investments asset management business.&lt;/p&gt;<br />

&lt;p&gt;First quarter earnings for U. S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) tumbled as loan loss provisions surged but the results beat expectations.&lt;/p&gt;<br />

&lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;On the downside&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;/p&gt;<br />

&lt;p&gt;The New York Times (NYSE: NYT) blamed sharply lower advertising revenue for widening first quarter losses by a wide margin.&lt;/p&gt;<br />

&lt;p&gt;Alexandria Real Estate Equities (NYSE: ARE) will sell $175 million worth of senior convertible notes through a private offering.&lt;/p&gt;<br />

&lt;p&gt;Shares of Flagstar Bancorp (NYSE: FBC) tumbled ahead of its earnings release after market close.&lt;/p&gt;<br />

&lt;p&gt;In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by &amp;nbsp;3&amp;nbsp;to&amp;nbsp;1 on Nasdaq.&amp;nbsp; The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks leaped 17 points to 470. &lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's comments that some banks may be permitted to repay government bailout loans lifted the markets higher during the midday with the Dow climbing 67 points to 7908.  Nasdaq soared 23 points to 1631.&lt;/p&gt;<br /> &lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;On the upside&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;/p&gt;<br />

&lt;p&gt;QLogic (Nasdaq: QLGC) introduced a new 8Gb Fibre Channel connectivity solution for the new HP BladeSystem Matrix that delivers twice the data as the previous generation 4Gb adapter.&lt;/p&gt;<br />

&lt;p&gt;Tenet Healthcare (NYSE: THC) swung to a first quarter profit and lifted its full year guidance.&lt;/p&gt;<br />

&lt;p&gt;Although first quarter earnings for Teck Cominco (NYSE: TCK) fell, the results topped estimates and revenue rose.&lt;/p&gt;<br />

&lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;On the downside&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;/p&gt;<br />

&lt;p&gt;Kendle (Nasdaq: KNDL) warned that first quarter earnings will fall short of expectations prompting a downgrade.&lt;/p&gt;<br />

&lt;p&gt;Zions Bancorp (Nasdaq: ZION) swung to a first quarter loss due to a significant impairment charge.&lt;/p&gt;<br />

&lt;p&gt;First quarter earnings for Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE: BAC) plunged prompting the bank to cut its dividend.&lt;/p&gt;<br />

&lt;p&gt;In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than &amp;nbsp;5&amp;nbsp;to&amp;nbsp;3 on Nasdaq.&amp;nbsp; The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 13 points to 466. &lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;The markets opened lower amidst disappointing earnings with the Dow losing 38 points to 7803 while Nasdaq slipped 8 points to 1600.&lt;/p&gt;<br /> &lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;On the upside&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;/p&gt;<br />

&lt;p&gt;Coca-Cola (Nasdaq: KO) blamed charges and writedowns for lower first quarter earnings but the results met estimates.&lt;/p&gt;<br />

&lt;p&gt;Broadcom (Nasdaq: BRCM) offered approximately $764 million to acquire Emulex (NYSE: ELX).&lt;/p&gt;<br />

&lt;p&gt;Although third quarter earnings fell for Coach (NYSE: COH), revenue topped estimates and the luxury handbag maker announced an annual cash dividend of 30 cents per share.&lt;/p&gt;<br />

&lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;On the downside&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;/p&gt;<br />&lt;p&gt;Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) posted a quarterly loss for the first time in 17 years due to significant charges and slashed its full year outlook.&lt;/p&gt;<br />

&lt;p&gt;First quarter earnings for Merck (NYSE: MRK) plunged to miss expectations as sales fell.&lt;/p&gt;<br />

&lt;p&gt;KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY) reported a wider than expected loss and cut its quarterly dividend.&lt;/p&gt;<br />

&lt;p&gt;In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 7 to 5 on the NYSE and by&amp;nbsp;10&amp;nbsp;to&amp;nbsp;9 on Nasdaq.&amp;nbsp; The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks eased a fraction to 452. &lt;/p&gt;

Loan Loss Worries Sink Markets

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<p>Concerns about increasing loan loss provisions sent the markets into a tailspin with the Dow collapsing 289 points to close at 7841.&nbsp; Nasdaq skidded 64 points to 1608.</p>
<p><strong>On the downside</strong></p>
<p>Renewed concerns about credit losses weighed down shares of Fifth Third Bancorp(Nasdaq: FITB), Huntington Bancshares (Nasdaq: HBAN) and Regions Financial (NYSE: RF).</p>
<p>Image Entertainment (Nasdaq: DISK) terminated its merger agreement with Nyx Acquisitions citing Nyx's inability to finance the deal.</p>
<p>Profit takers weighed down shares of DryShips (Nasdaq: DRYS), whose stock price rose on Friday after an analyst upgrade.</p>
<p>Alcoa (NYSE: AA) announced that a two-year contract extension was ratified by union workers at a Cleveland plant.</p>
<p>The University of Georgia will adopt Synovus Financial's (NYSE: SNV) Secure Vault Payments for making online tuition payments.  However, the stock price fell along with the rest of the financial services industry.</p>
<p>Shares of Capital One Financial (NYSE: COF) plunged ahead of its earnings release tomorrow.<br /></p>
<p>In the broad market, declining issues overwhelmed advancers by a margin of nearly 8 to 1 on the NYSE and by&nbsp;more than 9&nbsp;to&nbsp;2 on Nasdaq.&nbsp; The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks skidded 26 points to 452. </p>

The markets extended its losses during the midday with the Dow plummeting 229 points to 7901 as investors locked in profits in the financial services sector.  Nasdaq skidded 57 points to 1615.


On the upside

Lazard Capital Markets upgraded Dendreon (Nasdaq: DNDN) after the biotechnology firm announced upbeat results from a Phase 3 clinical study of its prostate cancer treatment Provenge.

Although first quarter earnings for Halliburton (NYSE: HAL) tumbled as revenue fell, the results topped analyst estimates.

On the downside

BreitBurn Energy Partners' (Nasdaq: BBEP) borrowing base has been redetermined and the company suspended distributions to unitholders.

Sterne Agee downgraded SunTrust Banks (NYSE: STI).

McMoRan Exploration (NYSE: MMR) swung to a first quarter loss as revenue plunged amidst falling sales and retreating prices.

Revlon (NYSE: REV) majority shareholder MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings requested that the cosmetics company convert Class A shares into preferred stock.

In the broad market, declining issues overwhelmed advancers by a margin of nearly 8 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 9 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slumped 24 points to 455.

Bank of America gave investors an excuse to take profits on recent gains.  The Dow tumbled 182 points to 7948 while Nasdaq plunged 40 points to 1632.

On the upside

Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: JAVA) received a $7.4 billion bid from Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) putting the Java programming language into the hands of the world's largest database company.

Beverage and snack maker PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP) offered $6.6 billion to acquire its two largest bottlers, Pepsi Bottling Group (NYSE: PBG) and PepsiAmericas (NYSE: PAS).


On the downside

Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) posted profits that beat expectations as revenues from its recently acquired Lehman Brothers operations contributed to 1st quarter results.  However, sizable credit losses marred the report.

The FDA asked for more information about a respiratoratory drug treatment for infants from Discovery Laboratories (Nasdaq: DSCO).   The stock promptly fell about $1 a share.

Energy explorer and producer Quicksilver (NYSE: KWK) renewed its $1.2 billion credit facility at higher rates.

Wireless carrier NTELOS Holdings (Nasdaq: NTLS) lowered its outlook for 2009.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 6 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 6 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks tumbled 15 points to 463.

Upbeat earnings lifted the markets to a modestly higher close with the Dow adding 5 points to 8131.  Nasdaq rose 2 points to 1673.

On the upside

Level 3 Communications (NYSE: LVLT) closed its $220 million senior secured term loan.

Although first quarter earnings for Tempur-Pedic International (NYSE: TPX) slipped, the results topped analyst estimates.

Valmont Industries (NYSE: VMI) reported higher first quarter earnings that beat analyst expectations.


On the downside

Student lender Sallie Mae (NYSE: SLM) sold $1.8 billion worth of 7.34-year notes.

Citigroup (NYSE: C) narrowed first quarter losses to beat estimates but the stock price fell as investors locked in profits.

Although Credit Suisse analyst Christopher Ceraso tripled his price target for Ford (NYSE: F), he said that the stock remains an unattractive buy.

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 climbed 5 points to 479.

Markets Mixed At Midday

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The markets traded mixed during the midday with the Dow gaining 8 points to 8134 over a better than expected gain in consumer sentiment.  Nasdaq lost points to 1664.

On the upside

Unisys (NYSE: UIS) landed a task order valued at approximately $92 million for the Defense Finance and Accounting Service.

Quantum (NYSE: QTM) amended its credit agreement.

Oppenheimer cited the completion of DryShips' (Nasdaq: DRYS) equity offering for upgrading the drybulk carrier.


On the downside

First Horizon National (NYSE: FHN) blamed loan losses for swinging to a first quarter loss.

Shares of MGM Mirage (NYSE: MGM) continued falling after billionaire investor Carl Icahn recommended that the casino operator file for bankruptcy.

Trading on shares of Lender Processing (NYSE: LPS) was halted after the stock plunged morning.  News is pending.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 7 to 5 on the NYSE and by nearly 10 to 9 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a point to 475.

Stocks opened mixed as investors mulled over the latest earnings report from Citigroup and GE that beat expectations.  The Dow rose 5 points to 8130 while Nasdaq slipped 5 points to 1664.

On the upside

GE (NYSE: GE) posted a sharp drop in earnings as its finance arm continued to wrestle with loan losses, but the results surpassed expectations.

Citigroup (NYSE: C) reported a quarterly loss of nearly $1 billion which was better than analysts' estimates.

Tyco Electronics (NYSE: TEL) announced the sale of its wireless systems business to government contractor Harris Corp. (NYSE: HRS) for $675 million in cash.


On the downside

Shares of Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) opened lower after the search engine giant posted lower revenues and higher profits due to cost-cutting.

Specialty chemical maker Cytec Industries (NYSE: CYT) reported a 1st quarter loss and cut its dividend.  Analysts promptly downgraded the stock.

A.O. Smith  (NYSE: AOS) posted lower profits and lowered its 2009 outlook due to slowing demand for water-heating equipment.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 5 to 4 on the NYSE, but lagged by a slim margin on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks held steady at 473.

Upbeat earnings news lifted the markets to a higher close with the Dow climbing 96 points to 8125.  Nasdaq jumped 44 points to 1670.

On the upside

Plexus (Nasdaq: PLXS) said that its second quarter adjusted profit will most likely surpass analyst estimates.

IBM (NYSE: IBM) extended its partnership with Brocade Communications Systems (Nasdaq: BRCD) and will start selling ethernet switching and routing products.

Duke Realty (NYSE: DRE) affirmed its 2009 outlook, cut its dividend and priced its offering of 65.4 million common shares at $7.65 per share.


On the downside

Investors locked in profits on Discovery Labs (Nasdaq: DSCO).  Shares of the biotechnology company rose recently after announcing advances in the development of its proprietary Capillary Aerosolization Technology.

Shares of anthrax vaccine maker Emergent BioSolutions (NYSE: EBS) tumbled after the Department of Health and Human Services requested that all bidders for a government anthrax vaccine contract must submit a comprehensive regulatory plan to the Food and Drug Administration.

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn told MGM Mirage (NYSE: MGM) to file for bankruptcy.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 7 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 2 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 13 points to 474.

Falling mortgage rates lifted the markets during the midday with the Dow adding 18 points to 8048.  Nasdaq climbed 22 points to 1649.

On the upside

Jarden (NYSE: JAH) said that first quarter results will beat expectations.

Regions Financial (NYSE: RF) announced that a profit will be reported for the first quarter and that it will repay the government's $3.5 billion soon.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (NYSE: KKD) narrowed fourth quarter losses.


On the downside

Meridian Biosciences (Nasdaq: VIVO) disappointed with flat second quarter earnings due to a mild flu season and lowered its full year guidance.

Sun Trust Robinson Humphrey upgraded American Express (NYSE: AXP) after the company said that credit card defaults slipped but the stock price fell.

First quarter earnings for Charles Schwab (Nasdaq: SCHW) dropped.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 7 to 5 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 4 points to 465.

Banking stocks continued to lead the markets out of its recent doldrums, but lower housing starts suggested a prolonged economic recovery.  The Dow lost 5 points to 8024 while Nasdaq rose 15 points to 1642.

On the upside

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) posted $2.14 billion in 1st quarter profits.  While credit losses continued, the company's trading arm enjoyed record revenues from buying and selling bonds.

Nokia (NYSE: NOK) managed to post small 1st quarter earnings which beat analysts' estimates.  Some had even anticipated the world's largest phone maker to post a loss.

eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) offered to buy a majority stake in South Korea's Gmarket (Nasdaq: GMKT) including the 10% owned by Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO).


On the downside

Southwest Air (NYSE: LUV) posted a larger than expected loss as fewer travelers took to the skies.

An analyst downgraded State Street (NYSE: STT) whose shares immediately fell sharply.

Financial advisory firm Chimera Investment (NYSE: CIM) announced plans to raise up to $705 million by issuing stock.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 5 to 4 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a point to 462.

A late afternoon rally lifted the markets higher with the Dow climbing 109 points to 8030 as consumer prices slipped. Nasdaq added a point to 1627.

On the upside

Wachovia upgraded Weingarten Realty Investors (NYSE: WRI).

Shares of homebuilders Standard Pacific (NYSE: SPF), Hovnanian Enterprises (NYSE: HOV) and Beazer Homes (NYSE: BZH) all rose even as mortgage applications tumbled 11% last week as investors remain hopeful that a recovery is eminent.

CBL & Associates Properties (NYSE: CBL) announced that it will pay approximately $9.8 million in cash and approximately 4.8 million in common shares for dividends.


On the downside

A larger than expected death rate among study patients prompted Infinity Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: INFI) to stop a late stage clinical trial of its gastrointestinal stromal tumor drug.

Lufkin Industries (Nasdaq: LUFK) blamed lower commodity prices for a sharp drop in first quarter income that miss estimates by a wide margin.

Kennametal (NYSE: KMT) blamed the global economic downturn for slashing its third quarter outlook.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks climbed 8 points to 461.

Falling Crude Prices Lift Dow

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Falling crude oil prices and consumer prices lifted the Dow 65 points to 7985 during the midday while Nasdaq lost 9 points to 1616.

On the upside

Discovery Laboratories (Nasdaq: DSCO) reported that it has advanced the design of its proprietary Capillary Aerosolization Technology for delivering aerosolized KL4 surfactant to the deep lung.

Developers Diversified Realty's (NYSE: DDR) shareholders approved the purchase agreement with the Otto Family.

American Airlines parent AMR (NYSE: AMR) widened first quarter losses as people flew less due to the weak economy but the results topped analyst estimates.


On the downside

Raymond James Financial (NYSE: RJF) warned that second quarter earnings will fall far short of expectations as loan loss provisions soared.

Burger King Holdings (NYSE: BKC) disappointed with lower than expected preliminary revenue for the third quarter.

Although first quarter earnings for Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU) tripled, the results missed analyst estimates by a wide margin.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by more than 7 to 5 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 5 points to 458.

Consumer prices dipped 0.1% in March which reflected weak business activity and payroll pressures, but quelled inflationary worries.  The Dow rose 25 points to 7945 while tech stocks lagged to push Nasdaq lower to 1617, down 8 points.

On the upside

Healthcare Services Group  (Nasdaq: HCSG) posted higher 1st quarter profits and raised its dividend.  The company provides housekeeping and food services to hospitals and nursing homes.

Investment bank Piper Jaffray (NYSE: PJC) posted a 1st quarter loss, but the results surpassed expectations.

International Paper (NYSE: IP) was upgraded by an analyst citing the company's relatively low valuation.


On the downside

Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) posted 1st quarter earnings that beat expectations, but the chip giant offered a vague outlook that failed to instill confidence among investors.

Drug and medical device maker Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) reported higher 1st quarter income due to one-time gains, but revenues slipped due to the strong dollar offseting overseas sales.

UBS AG (NYSE: UBS) posted a $1.75 billioin quarterly loss while announcing plans to cut 8,700 jobs worldwide by the end of next year.  UBS is Switzerland's largest bank.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 3 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose 3 points to 457.

Earnings concerns along with an unexpected drop in retail sales sent the markets down to a lower close with the Dow tumbling 138 points to 7920.  Nasdaq plunged 28 points to 1626.

On the upside

Rumors that the government may take a stake in General Motors (NYSE: GM) lifted shares of the beleagured automaker.

Shares of China GrenTech (Nasdaq: GRRF) rose ahead of its earnings release after market close.

Empire Resorts (Nasdaq: NYNY) confirmed that it engaged in discussions with the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe to explore the possible development of a Native American casino at the Monticello Raceway.

On the downside

First quarter earnings for Commerce Bancshares (Nasdaq: CBSH) plunged to fall far short of estimates as loan loss provisions soared.

MGIC Investment (NYSE: MTG) reported that chairman and chief executive Curt Culver received a 2008 compensation package that was 38% lower than the previous year.

Investors locked in profits on Synovus Financial (NYSE: SNV).  Shares of the bank holding company climbed last week after an analyst initiated coverage with a Buy rating.

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 15 points to 453.

Obama Warns Recovery Takes Time

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A disappointing drop in retail sales along with President Obama's warning that the economic recovery will take time sent the markets tumbling during the midday with the Dow plunging 148 points to 7910.  Nasdaq plummeted 34 points to 1619.

On the upside

Credit Suisse analyst Ralph Giacobbe listed Community Health Systems (NYSE: CYH) as one of his top picks among hospital operators.

DryShips (Nasdaq: DRYS) officially signed a three-year contract valued at approximately $360 million with Petrobras.

MGM Mirage (NYSE: MGM) amended its senior credit facility and can now fully fund its CityCenter project.

On the downside

Moody's Investors Service downgraded Fifth Third Bancorp (Nasdaq: FITB)  while the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority fined the company $1.75 million.

Talbots (NYSE: TLB) reported a wider than expected fourth quarter loss and forecast disappointing first quarter results.

Barrington Research Associates analyst James Goss expects Gannett (NYSE: GCI) to report sharply lower revenue as advertising revenue continues to drop.

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 14 points to 454.

Retails sales unexpectedly fell in March as investors continued to worry about the pace of the economy's recovery.  Banking and biotech stocks bucked the early morning sell-off with the Dow losing 60 points to 7997 while Nasdaq fell 8 points to 1644.

On the upside

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) reported earnings that beat expectations and reaffirmed its full-year outlook.

Shares of Dendreon (Nasdaq: DNDN) nearly tripled in value after the biotechnology company announced positive safety results for its prostate cancer drug treatment.

The financial services sector continued to rally with shares of E*Trade (Nasdaq: ETFC), Citigroup (NYSE: C) and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) extending yesterday's gains.

On the downside

Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) posted better than expected results late yesterday, but the financial services company also announced plans to raise $5 billion which would dilute existing shareholders.

A Stifel Nicolaus analyst downgraded American Express (NYSE: AXP) whose shares gave up some of its recent gains.

A Wall Street Journal report downplayed the possibility of a sale of eBay's Skype unit (Nasdaq: EBAY) to a private equity consortium.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by nearly 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 6 points to 461.

The markets recovered earlier losses as the financial services sector rallied but still closed modestly lower with the Dow losing 26 points to 8058.  Nasdaq added a point to 1653.

On the upside

Shares of E*Trade (Nasdaq: ETFC) surged along with the rest of the financial services sector.  The online brokerage will report earnings Tuesday, April 28, 2009.

Barron's said that shares of RSC Holdings (NYSE: RRR) may triple.

Goldman Sachs analyst Matthew Fassler upgraded OfficeMax (NYSE: OMX) saying that the company's results will improve.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, head of the financial products unit Gerry Pasciucco claimed that controversy over American International Group's (NYSE: AIG) bonuses hurt morale and slowed the process of unwinding its portfolio.


On the downside

SPX (NYSE: SPW) blamed a drop in demand for lowering its first quarter as well as its full year outlook.

Satyam Computer Services (NYSE: SAY) accepted Tech Mahindra's approximately $350 million bid to acquire a controlling stake in Satyam.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 3 on the NYSE while advancers were on par with decliners on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks held steady at 468.

Markets Drop Ahead Of Earnings

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The markets traded lower during the midday with the Dow tumbling 85 points to 7998 ahead of earnings news.  Nasdaq dropped 14 points to 1638.

On the upside

William Blair upgraded Monster Worldwide (NYSE: MWW).

Shares of Huntington Bancshares (Nasdaq: HBAN) continued to climb after an industry publication projected that the bank will become the third largest lender in the nation.

A Barron's article said that the stock price of American Express (NYSE: AXP) may double because its revenue comes from transaction fees rather than the extension of credit which has hobbled many financial institutions.


On the downside

Macquarie Research Equities downgraded Textron (NYSE: TXT), whose share price surged recently over acquisition rumors.

Piper Jaffray downgraded MEMC Electronic Materials (NYSE: WFR).

Susquehanna Bancshares (Nasdaq: SUSQ) warned that first quarter results will fall short of estimates as loan loss provisions continue to rise.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 5 to 4 on the NYSE and by nearly 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks tumbled 8 points to 461.

The markets opened mostly lower as General Motors teetered on the verge of bankruptcy and Boeing lowered its outlook.  The Dow lost 80 points to 8003 while Nasdaq lost 12 points to 1640.

On the upside

Prescription benefits manager Express Scripts (Nasdaq: ESRX) offered $4.6 billion in cash and stock to acquire subsidiaries of insurer WellPoint (NYSE: WLP).  Shares of Aetna (NYSE: AET) and Humana (NYSE: HUM) also joined the rally in the health care sector.

Banking stocks continued to rally on turnaround hopes.  Shares of Citigroup (NYSE: C) and Fifth Third Bancorp (Nasdaq: FITB) surged.

Shares of Gannett (NYSE: GCI) rose for a second session after fund manager Ariel Investment increased its stake in the publisher of USA Today.


On the downside

Genworth Financial (NYSE: GNW) missed a key deadline and abandoned its effort to acquire InterBank which would have allowed the insurer to gain access to TARP funds as a savings and loans.

Boeing (NYSE: BA) weighed on the Dow after the aircraft maker lowered guidance for 1st quarter profits and announced production cuts.

Shares of General Motors (NYSE: GM) fell sharply on worries that restructuring efforts will not prevent the automaker from filing for bankruptcy.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on both the NYSE and Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks dropped 5 points to 462.

Markets Closed

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The U.S. markets are closed today in observance of the Good Friday holiday.   It will re-open on Monday.
Wells Fargo announced preliminary first quarter results that far surpassed analyst estimates sending the markets soaring to a sharply higher close with the Dow rocketing 246 points to 8083.  Nasdaq jumped 62 points to 1653.

On the upside

Saks (NYSE: SKS) reported that same store sales in March tumbled 23.6% but the stock price rose.

Sterling Savings Bank (Nasdaq: STSA) expanded its efforts to increase loans to small businesses.

Ariel Capital Management increased its stake in newspaper publisher Gannett (NYSE: GCI) from 4.9% to 12.5%.

The Coleman Report projected that Huntington Bancshares (Nasdaq: HBAN) will grow into the nation's third largest SBA 7(a) lender in 2009.

Citi analyst Kate McShane increased her price target for Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS) saying that small businesses are poised to recover from the economic slump.

On the downside

Telus (NYSE: TU) warned that it added fewer than expected wireless subscribers in the first quarter.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 6 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks leaped 26 points to 468.

Upbeat earnings news lifted the markets higher during the midday with the Dow soaring 162 points to 8000.  Nasdaq jumped 45 points to 1636.

On the upside

Cardiome Pharma (Nasdaq: CRME) partnered with Merck (MYSE: MRK) to develop an oral version of Cardiome's atrial fibrillation drug vernakalant.  Merck will pay up to $600 million to Cardiome to market the heart treatment.

A-Power Energy Generation Systems (Nasdaq: APWR) reported sharply higher fourth quarter earnings that beat expectations by a wide margin as revenue surged.

Keefe Bruyette upgraded SunTrust Banks (NYSE: STI).

Force Protection (Nasdaq: FRPT) named Randy Hutcherson to the newly created position of Executive Vice President, Global Sales and Business Development.

On the downside

Hospitality Properties Trust (NYSE: HPT) suspended quarterly dividend payments to common shareholders for the rest of 2009.

Same store sales for Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF) plunged 34% in March. 


In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 6 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 18 points to 460.

A surprisingly strong profit outlook for Wells Fargo lifted the entire market as the Dow opened above 8000, up nearly 170 points.  Nasdaq leaped 30 points to 1661.

On the upside

Wells Fargo projected $3 billion in profits for the 1st quarter of the year.   Shares of Bank of (NYSE: BAC) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) joined the rally.

Gymboree (Nasdaq: GYMB) raised its 1st quarter profit outlook due to a significant increase in same-store sales during the month of March instead of a decline.

Department store operator Target (NYSE: TGT) posted lower revenues, but the results beat targets.

Shares of Textron (NYSE: TXT) rallied again on word that an Arab group may buy or take a significant stake in the aircraft and weapons maker.

On the downside

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT) posted higher same-store sales that rose by 1.4% as recession-ravished consumers searched for bargains.  The results missed expectations.

Gran Tierra Energy (Amex: GTE) reached 15,000 barrels of oil in daily production at the end of the 1st quarter.  Investors were mildly disappointed by the announcement. 


In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 7 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 17 points to 459.

The markets closed modestly higher with the Dow adding 48 points to 7837 as investors embraced Treasury plans to assist insurance companies.  Nasdaq climbed 29 points to 1591.

On the upside

Shares of Lincoln National (NYSE: LNC) soared over news that the government may provide financial assistance to life insurers.

Gramercy Capital (NYSE: GKK) amended a $216 million credit facility with Wachovia and a repurchase pact with Goldman Sachs.

Shares of Pep Boys - Manny, Moe & Jack (NYSE: PBY) climbed ahead of its earnings release.

On the downside

VisionChina Media's (Nasdaq: VISN) Chief Financial Officer Dina Liu will leave the company April 15.

Wachovia downgraded General Growth Properties (NYSE: GGP).

According to Reuters Estimates, analyst anticipate losses in all four quarters of 2009 for KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY).

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly the same on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 10 points to 442.

Pulte Homes' $1.3 billion acquisition of Centex lifted the markets during the midday with the Dow climbing 80 points to 7869.  Nasdaq soared 29 points to 1591.

On the upside

Jos. A. Bank Clothiers (Nasdaq: JOSB) reported sharply higher full year earnings that topped estimates as sales climbed.

Websense (Nasdaq: WBSN) announced that first quarter adjusted earnings will be flat or slightly higher.

Although third quarter earnings for Ruby Tuesday (NYSE: RT) tumbled due to significant charges, the results beat expectations prompting an upgrade.

On the downside

SVB Financial (Nasdaq: SIVB) warned of a first quarter loss prompting a downgrade.

Silicon Motion Technology (Nasdaq: SIMO) lowered its first quarter revenue guidance and gross margin outlook.

Investment Technology (NYSE: ITG) reported a 17% drop in average commissions per share.

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 gained 8 points to 439.

Stocks were slightly higher as the SEC recommended curbs to reduce short selling.  Meanwhile, oil prices fell again to the $48 a barrel level.  The Dow rose 8 points to 7797 while Nasdaq added 10 points to 1572.

On the upside

Centex (NYSE: CTX) was the target of a $1.3 billion all-stock acquisition offer by Pulte Homes (NYSE: PHM) that would combine the 4th and 3rd largest home builders in the U.S.

The insurance sector rose on hopes that the government may extend its troubled asset relief program.  Shares of Hartford Financial (NYSE: HIG) and Prudential Financial (NYSE: PRU) surged.

Bed Bath & Beyond (Nasdaq: BBBY) posted lower 4th quarter earninigs, but the results beat expectations.  Revenues for the home products retailer edged down less than 1%.

On the downside

Logistics and truck leasing company Ryder System (NYSE: R) lowered its outlook due to restructuring costs and the recession.

Shares of ProLogis (NYSE: PLD) fell again after the distribution-facility comapny announced plans to sell 115 million shares of common stock through a public offering.

An analyst downgraded Raymond James Financial (NYSE: RJF).

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 5 to 4 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks edged up a point to 433.

Concerns about disappointing earnings sent the markets tumbling to a sharply lower close with the Dow sinking 186 points to 7790.  Nasdaq plummeted 45 points to 1562.

On the upside

Shares of Biogen Idec (Nasdaq: BIIB) rose over speculation that the biotechnology company may be acquired.

Spreadtrum Communications (Nasdaq: SPRD) and Mirics Semiconductor introduced its embedded PCTV solution supporting China Multimedica Mobile Broadcasting's mobile digital TV standard.


On the downside

Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE: RBS) plans to eliminate up to 9,000 positions over two years in order to cut costs by approximately $3.7 billion.

ProLogis (NYSE: PLD) will sell 115 million shares of common stock through a public offering.

Headwaters (NYSE: HW) announced that it will reduce its workforce at its Alabama coal cleaning facilities.

Shares of Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS), MGM Mirage (NYSE: MGM) and Wynn Resorts (Nasdaq: WYNN) all fell after Nevada's Gaming Control reported a drop in revenue for the month of February, the fourteenth straight month of declines.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 7 to 2 on the NYSE and by 3 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plummeted 16 points to 432.

Markets Tumble Ahead Of Earnings

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The markets tumbled during the midday with the Dow plummeting 178 points to 7798 in anticipation of disappointing earnings.  Nasdaq plunged 36 points to 1571.

On the upside

First Marblehead (NYSE: FMD) sold its interest in NC Residuals Owners Trust and should receive a refund for taxes already paid.

Lincoln National (NYSE: LNC) repaid $500 million in debt and expects to pay another $200 million in the next few weeks.

Image Entertainment (Nasdaq: DISK) and Nyx Acquisitions agreed to a third amendment to their merger agreement.


On the downside

YRC Worldwide (Nasdaq: YRCW) warned that it will take a $185 million one-time charge in the first quarter.

Standard & Poor's Equity Research analyst Erik Kolb downgraded International Speedway (Nasdaq: ISCA) after the company posted lower first quarter earnings and lowered its full year outlook.

SMH Capital downgraded WMS Industries (NYSE: WMS).

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks dropped 7 points to 440.

The International Monetary Fund planned to forecast $4 trillion in troubled assets held by banks, according to The Times of London.  The Dow lost more than 110 points to 7862 while Nasdaq fell 20 points to 1586.

On the upside

Shares of the world's largest maker of corporate jets rose again amid takeover speculation about Textron (NYSE: TXT).

Consumer electronics retailer hhgregg (NYSE: HGG) raised its revenue and earnings targets

An RBC analyst raised his opinion of software companies, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), Adobe Systems (Nasdaq: ADBE) and Concur Technologies (Nasdaq: CNQR).


On the downside

Motorola (NYSE: MOT) proceeded with plans to cut 5600 positions and to take a one-time charge of $106 million to cover severance costs.

Troubled insurer American International Group (NYSE: AIG) received bids for its asset management business in the $400-800 million range only.

General Motors (NYSE: GM) unveiled a two-wheeled electric vehicle in a partnership with scooter maker Segway as a clean alternative for congested city streets.

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 gave up 4 points to 443.

The markets recovered from earlier losses but still closed lower with the Dow losing 42 points to 7976 as investors locked in profits.  Nasdaq fell 15 points to 1607.

On the upside

SumTotal's (Nasdaq: SUMT) largest shareholder private equity firm Vista Equity Partners offered approximately $103 million to acquire the employee management software company.

Apollo Management offered to take Legacy Reserves (Nasdaq: LGCY) private in a deal valued at approximately $435 million.

Three Satyam Computer (NYSE: SAY) executives have been arrested for accounting fraud.


On the downside

FTN Equity Capital downgraded F.N.B. Corp. (NYSE: FNB).

Credit Suisse analyst Steve Benyik downgraded Alexandria Real Estate Equities (NYSE: ARE).

Calyon Securities analyst Mike Mayo initiated coverage of Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), Citigroup (NYSE: C) and Well Fargo (NYSE: WFC) all with an Underperform rating.

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 dropped 9 points to 448.

Investors locked in profits from last week's rally to weigh down the markets during the midday.  The Dow tumbled 117 points to 7900 while Nasdaq dropped 32 points to 1590.

On the upside

UBS upgraded Infineon Technologies (NYSE: IFX) on the expectation that the chipmaker will receive government backed debt financing.

Keefe Bruyette upgraded MF Global (NYSE: MF).

Shares of Dendreon (NYSE: DNDN) continued to soar in anticipation of the company's prostate cancer vaccine trial results.


On the downside

Credit Suisse analyst Steve Benyik downgraded SL Green Realty (NYSE: SLG) citing a weak liquidity outlook.

International Paper (NYSE: IP) announced the closure of a cardboard box plant in Kansas City, Kansas, a mill in Franklin, Virginina, a plant in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, and temorarily close its Ticonderoga, New York mill.

JPMorgan downgraded AXA (NYSE: AXA).

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 7 to 2 on the NYSE and by 3 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks tumbled 13 points to 443.

The markets retreated with the Dow falling over 100 points to 7910.  The tech-heavy Nasdaq tumbled 35 points to 1586 after IBM pulled its latest offer for Sun Microsystems.

On the upside

Ford Motor (NYSE: F) took steps to strengthen its balance sheet in part by reducing $9.9 billion in debt by the end of last year.

Sallie Mae (NYSE: SLM) announced plans to add 2000 jobs in the U.S. over the next 18 month by shifting call center operations from overseas.

Casino operator MGM Mirage (NYSE: MGM) hired Morgan Stanley to sell off assets.


On the downside

Shares of NII Holdings (Nasdaq: NIHD) tumbled after the Latin American wireless carrier reported gains in subscribers that missed targets, particularly in Mexico, its largest market.

An analyst lowered his opinion on Rio Tinto (NYSE: RTP) due to some cash liquidity issues.  The company engages in mining operations globally.

Shares of Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: JAVA) fell after the server and software company terminated IBM's status as its exclusive negotiating partner.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 3 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 8 points to 447.

The markets closed modestly higher with the Dow gaining 40 points to 8018 despite another contraction in the services industry and a slight gain in the unemployment rate.  Nasdaq climbed 19 points to 1622.

On the upside

The American Urological Association has reserved a spot on its annual conference program for Dendreon (Nasdaq: DNDN) to present data from a late stage clinical trial of its prostate cancer treatment Provenge.

Shares of Cubist Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: CBST) surged over rumors that Novartis (NYSE: NVS) may be interested in acquiring the company.

Global research firm Lipper awarded three of Principal Financial Group's (NYSE: PFG) funds the prestigious Lipper Fund Award for outstanding multi-year performance.

Citigroup analyst Tereza Mello said that Brazilian sugar producer Cosan (NYSE: CZZ) will benefit from higher sugar prices and a weak local currency. 

Assured Guaranty (NYSE: AGO) announced that the company has insured 36% more public finance new issue transactions than in the first quarter of this year than last year.


On the downside

Aehr Test Systems (Nasdaq: AEHR) blamed hefty charges for swinging to a significant third quarter loss.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 8 to 5 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 6 points to 456.

Rising unemployment dampened investor enthusiasm during the midday.  The markets traed mixed with the Dow slipping 30 points to 7948 while Nasdaq added 5 points to 1607.

On the upside

Century Aluminum (Nasdaq: CENX) announced the termination of Senior Vice President of Business Development Giulio Casello effective April 30, 2009.

Melco Crown Entertainment (Nasdaq: MPEL) introduced its Quality of Life program that offers employees the option of a compressed workweek.

Charming Shoppes (Nasdaq: CHRS) named James Fogarty to the position of chief executive, replacing Dorrit J. Bern who resigned from the women's apparel retailer in July 2008.

On the downside


Hutchinson Technology (Nasdaq: HTCH) reported sharply lower second quarter sales and announced that Seagate Technology will no longer purchase suspension assemblies from Hutchinson.

Roth Capital downgraded Alkermes (Nasdaq: ALK) over concerns that a diabetes medication in development may cause thyroid cancer.

AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE: AU) warned that its first quarter production is below guidance.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 10 to 9 on the NYSE while decliners edged out advancers by more than 10 to 9 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks eased a point to 449.

More job cuts and a high unemployment rate raised doubts of an economic recovery for this year.  The Dow gave up 40 points to 7937 while Nasdaq slipped 5 points to 1596.

On the upside

Blockbuster (NYSE: BBI) amended its loan facility giving the video entertainment retail chain more time to fix its business.

Shares of Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) soared after the maker of BlackBerry smartphones posted 4th quarter earnings that surpassed estimates.

Kimco Realty (NYSE: KIM) priced shares at $7.10 each to raise more than $600 million.  Investors were surprised by demand for the real estate investment trust.

On the downside


An analyst downgraded Carmax (NYSE: KMX) after the company posted 4th quarter results that beat expectations.

Shares of Lincoln National (NYSE: LNC) fell again as investors continued to worry about the insurer's ability to raise new capital.

Shares of Amylin Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: AMLN) continued to sell off after competing diabetes drug treatment received the nod from the FDA.


In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by 5 to 3 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks fell 3 points to 446.

Optimism that the G-20's infusion of cash will end the global financial crisis boosted the markets to a sharply higher close with the Dow soaring 216 points to 7978.  Nasdaq leaped 51 points to 1602.

On the upside

Juniper Networks (Nasdaq: JNPR) introduced its integrated video monitoring and analysis solution StreamScope.

The MoCA Certification Board awarded Broadcom's (Nasdaq: BRCM) home networking platform using Multimedia over Coax Alliance connectivity a MoCA Certification.

Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corp. (Nasdaq: NWS), said that newspapers need to charge for content in order to offset delining advertising revenue.

General Electric (NYSE: GE) partnered with Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) to develop patient monitoring devices that allow doctors to check on patients remotely.

On the downside

A Food and Drug Administration panel recommended approval for oral diabetes medication Onglyza developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) and AstraZeneca.  Shares of Amylin (Nasdaq: AMLN), which makes the injectable diabetes drug Byetta, tumbled.

Navistar International (NYSE: NAV) filed a formal protest with the Pentagon over the government agency's evaluation process for a bid to supply mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles for the military.


In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 6 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 4 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 21 points to 450.

G-20 announced plans to give another $1.1 trillion to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.  The Dow leaped 279 points to surpass 8000 for the first time in two months to 8040 while Nasdaq jumped 60 points to 1612.

On the upside

Robert W. Baird upgraded Commscope (NYSE: CTV).

Colorful plastic shoemaker Crocs (Nasdaq: CROX) announced a tender offer for employee stock options.

Shares of Chinese online gaming company Changyou.com (Nasdaq: CYOU) surged on its first day of trading.

Better than expected March revenue from casinos in Macau lifted shares of Wynn Resorts (NYSE: WYNN).

 

JPMorgan upgraded TRW Automotive Holdings (NYSE: TRW) saying that the auto parts supplier will most likely be able to amend its debt covenants.

On the downside

Labopharm's (Nasdaq: DDSS) pain medication tramadol failed a late stage clinical trial.


In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 7 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rocketed 25 points to 454.

Confidence in the G-20's plan to boost the International Monetary Fund and to fix the global economy lifted stocks.  The Dow surged 218 points to 7979 while Nasdaq soared 44 points to 1596.

On the upside

The banking sector extended yesterday's rally with shares of Citigroup (NYSE: C) and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) topping the most actives chart with solid gains.

An analyst raised the price target of game developer Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS) due to its cash position and strong product pipeline.

Real estate investment firm Colony Capital may invest in the $8.6 billion CityCenter complex being built by MGM Mirage (NYSE: MGM).

Research in Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) will be announcing its quarterly results at the end of the trading day.

.

On the downside


Manhattan Associates (Nasdaq: MANH) lowered its 4th quarter outlook.  The inventory software provider expected lower licensing revenues.

Hopes for a global economic recovery weighed on precious metal prices.  Shares of Eldorado Gold (Amex: EGO) fell.


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 15 points to 445.

Improving activity in the manufacturing sector along with increasing pending home sales boosted the markets to a higher close with the Dow surging 153 points to 7762.  Nasdaq climbed 23 points to 1552.

On the upside

Crocs (Nasdaq: CROX) received a six month extension from Union Bank of California for its revolving credit facility.

Sealy (NYSE: ZZ) reversed year ago losses to post a profit for the first quarter as expenses fell.

Atlas Pipeline Partners (NYSE: APL) entered a joint partnership with Williams to form Laurel Mountain Midstream to be the leading gathering system for the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania.

On the downside


Urban Outfitters (Nasdaq: URBN) warned that sales during the first quarter have been lower than last year as well as the previous quarter.

City Bank (Nasdaq: CTBK) revised its losses for 2008 from the originally reported $35.8 million to $60.8 million.

Guaranty Financial Group (NYSE: GFG) delayed filing its annual report.


In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 2 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 6 points to 429.

An increase in pending home sales lifted the markets higher during the midday with the Dow gaining 78 points to 7687.  Nasdaq rose 12 points to 1541.

On the upside

American Capital (Nasdaq: ACAS) created its new Core Financial Group by combining its Core Business Credit, Velocity Financial Group and Oceana Media Finance businesses.

Solutia (NYSE: SOA) will sell its nylon business for $50 million in cash to an affiliate of SK Capital Partners.

JPMorgan upgraded Ashland (NYSE: ASH) due to improved margins.

On the downside


Robert W. Baird downgraded Apollo Group (Nasdaq: APOL) despite better than expected earnings as the for-profit educator warned of additional bad debt expenses.

FTN Equity Capital downgraded Auxilium (Nasdaq: AUXL).

Sonic Automotive (NYSE: SAH) blamed the auto industry slump for swinging to a significant fourth quarter loss.


In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by 9 to 7 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 2 points to 424.

The U.S. auto industry weighed on the markets.  Meanwhile, companies continued to reduce headcount to the tune of 742,000 jobs for the month of March.  The Dow lost 55 points to 7553 while Nasdaq droped 17 points to 1510.

On the upside

Metavante Technologies (NYSE:MV)  was the target of a $2.94 billion all-stock offer by Fidelity National Information Services (NYSE: FIS) to form a banking and payments processing giant.

Shares of Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS) rose after its chairman bought $23.2 million of its stock.

On the downside


General Motors (NYSE: GM) took the spotlight again on reports that the company may split into two: one with its profitable parts, the other under bankruptcy protection indefinitely.

Shares of Celgene (Nasdaq: CELG) tumbled after the drug maker lowered its outlook.

Pipeline repair company Team, Inc. (Nasdaq: TISI) lowered its revenue targets due to slowing demand for its services.

Mattress maker Sealy (NYSE: ZZ) announced cost-cutting efforts in order to maintain a profit.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 3 to 1 on Nasdaq.  The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks fell 9 points to 412.

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