Opening Bell Report
Falling home sales and news that Merrill Lynch, the world's biggest brokerage, wrote down $7.9 billion in mortgage-related losses weighed on investors. The Dow lost 58 points to 13,617 while Nasdaq plummeted 30 points to 2768.

On the upside

Shares of Transmeta (Nasdaq: TMTA) tripled in value after the chip designer settled a patent lawsuit with Intel which will pay $150 million and a perpetual annual payment of $20 million for use of Transmeta's portfolio of patents.

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) withdraw its appeals from the EU antitrust case clearing the way for competitors and open source vendors to build applications with access to Windows code.

Taser (Nasdaq: TASR) announed earnings that more than doubled as the stun gun maker beat sales targets and benefitted from lower tax rates.

On the downside

Merrill Lynch (NYSE: MER) revealed that it was overexposed to subprime mortgages and took a $7.9 billion charge.

Clothing retailer Talbots (NYSE: TLB) warned of a loss in the second half the year due to slowing retail sales.

Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL), which is in the middle of making an offer for BEA Systems (Nasdaq: BEAS), announced the purchase of Interlace Systems. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by a margin of 3 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks fell 7 points to 810.

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