Markets trade lower as jobless claims rise

The markets traded lower during the midday with the Dow losing 56 points to 16,787 as first time applications for unemployment benefits rose. Nasdaq fell 12 points to 4,319.

On the upside

Epirus Switzerland, which will merge with Zalicus (Nasdaq: ZLCS), reported positive results from a Phase 3 study of its active rheumatoid arthritis treatment BOW015.

Sigma Designs (Nasdaq: SIGM) fell to a loss for the first quarter but the results were better than expected prompting an upgrade.

3D Analytics said that Arotech (Nasdaq: ARTX) stock had the potential to triple and set a $12 price target on the company.

On the downside

Deutsche Bank downgraded SouFun (NYSE: SFUN) from a Buy rating to a Hold rating.

Investors locked in profits on Conatus Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: CNAT).

Profit taking weighed down shares of Vitesse Semiconductor (Nasdaq: VTSS).

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 5 to 4 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 4 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 lost 6 points to 1937. Bitcoin slipped $4.63 or 0.73% to $636.33.

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