Mixed Open As Service Sector Disappoints

The markets opened mixed with the Dow rising 24 points to 16,494 while Nasdaq slipped 12 points to 4119 as the nation's service sector expanded less than expected in December.

On the upside

Liberty Media offered to acquire the 46% stake in Sirius XM Holdings (Nasdaq: SIRI) that it does not already own.

The Food and Drug Administration granted Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: PPHM) fast track designation for its non-small cell lung cancer immunotherapy bavituximab.

Details for the phase 3 clinical trial of Oxygen Biotherapeutics' (Nasdaq: OXBT) levosimendan was published on ClinicalTrials.gov.

On the downside

Select Comfort (Nasdaq: SCSS) warned that fourth quarter earnings would fall short of expectations.

Morgan Stanley downgraded Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) from an Equal Weight rating to an Underweight rating.

Share of Spring (NYSE: S) continued falling after a downgrade last week.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 10 to 9 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 4 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 added a point to 1832. Bitcoin rose $20.88 or 2.08% to $1022.98.

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