Sharply Lower Close Ahead Of Earnings

The markets plunged to close sharply lower with the Dow collapsing 179 points to 16,257 ahead of corporate earnings reports later this week. Nasdaq plummeted 61 point to 4113.

On the upside

Galena Biopharma (Nasdaq: GALE) acquired Mills Pharmaceuticals.

A bankruptcy judge ruled that EnPro Industries (NYSE: NPO) does not have to set aside additional funds to cover mesothelioma claims prompting an analyst upgrade.

Canaccord upgraded Iamgold (NYSE: IAG) from a Hold rating to a Buy rating.

On the downside

J.P. Morgan downgraded Ply Gem Holdings (NYSE: PGEM) from an Overweight rating to an Underweight rating.

Conatus Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: CNAT) will conduct a Phase 2b clinical trial of its emricasan in Post Orthotopic Liver Transplant recipients in the second half of 2014.

The Bon-Ton Stores (Nasdaq: BONT) blamed disappointing December sales for lowering its full year guidance.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 2 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 plunged 23 points to 1819. Bitcoin lost $39 or 4.20% to $927.99.

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