Markets Extend Losses Over Weak Services Sector

Weak expansion of the services sector in March sent the markets tumbling during the midday with the Dow falling 63 points to 14,631. Nasdaq dropped 20 points to 3234.

On the upside

El Comercio reported that Chilean phone company Entel may pay $500 million to acquire NII Holdings' (Nasdaq: NIHD) Peru business.

RBC Capital Markets initiated coverage of Astex Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ASTX) with an Outperform rating.

MicroVision (Nasdaq: MVIS) will integrate its PicoP display technology into the development of display engine for a Fortune Global 100 electronics company.

On the downside

Shares of refiners Marathon Petroleum (NYSE: MPC), Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX) and Western Refining (NYSE: WNR) continued falling over the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed new standards for gasoline.

Affymax (Nasdaq: AFFY) stock continued falling after reporting a wider fourth quarter loss yesterday.

Eldorado Gold (NYSE: EGO) extended its losses after announcing yesterday that iron ore will not be shipped from its Vila Nova Iron Ore mine due to damages at the Santana Port ship loading facility.

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 broader S&P 500 index fell 10 points to 1559.

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