Earnings Concerns Sink Stocks

The markets plunged during the midday with the Dow plummeting 102 points to 16,334 over increasing concerns that earnings will disappoint. Nasdaq tumbled 31 point to 4142.

On the upside

A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recommended approval of Merck's (NYSE: MRK) blood clot prevention medication vorapaxar. Merck also filed an application to market its advanced melanoma treatment MK-3475.

Rosetta Genomics (Nasdaq: ROSG) signed a master service provider agreement with a global biopharmaceutical.

Genzyme will invest $700 million in Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ALNY) to expand their partnership to develop and commercialize treatments for rare genetic diseases.

On the downside

Motley Fool criticized the press release issued by J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP) last week as too vague about the struggling retailer's holiday performance.

Intercept Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ICPT) released additional data from its FLINT clinical trial that revealed lipid abnormalities in OCA-treated patients.

Geron (Nasdaq: GERN) will present financial information at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Franciscco on January 15, 2014.

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 broader S&P 500 tumbled 12 points to 1829. Bitcoin held steady at $966.99.

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