Weak Earnings Send Markets Plummeting

Weak corporate earnings sent the markets tumbling to a sharply lower close with the Dow plummeting 138 points to 14,618. Nasdaq plunged 59 points to 3204.

On the upside

Shares of ECOtality (Nasdaq: ECTY) continued climbing after Vista Partners initiated coverage of the clean electric transportation technologies company yesterday with a price target of $3.70.

Abiomed (Nasdaq: ABMD) reported preliminary fourth quarter revenue that beat analyst expectations.

Zacks expects Nokia (NYSE: NOK) to report first quarter results ahead of expectations.

On the downside

Audley Capital requested that Walter Energy (NYSE: WLT) provide per ton of production SG&A analysis compared to the average of its peer group.

Profit taking sank shares of Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE: FSL).

Retreating gold and silver prices weighed down shares of Coeur d'Alene Mines (NYSE: CDE), McEwen Mining (NYSE: MUX), Seabridge Gold (NYSE: SA) and Silver Standard Resources (Nasdaq: SSRI).

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 7 to 2 on the NYSE and by more than 4 to 1 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 index plunged 22 points to 1552.

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