Sluggish retail sales and comments by Fed chief Bernanke that business growth will slow sent the markets down to a lower close with the Dow falling 34 points to 13,266. Nasdaq plummeted 53 points to 2696.
On the upside
Upbeat earnings from First Solar lifted shares of Evergreen Solar (Nasdaq: ESLR).
Although King Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: KG) swung to a third quarter loss due to special charges, the results beat expecations by 7 cents.
Fremont General (NYSE: FMT) reported lower third quarter earnings but it was the first quarterly profit for 2007.
On the downside
Industrial Enterprises America (Nasdaq: IEAM) CFO Jorge Yepes has been suspended while the company reviews possible policy and procedure violations.
Kenexa (Nasdaq: KNXA) reported higher third quarter earnings but sales fell short of expectations and the human resources services provider cut its full year outlook.
Concerns that VMware (NYSE: VMW) will lose its dominance of the virtualization solutions market sent the stock price tumbling.
In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 10 to 9 on both the NYSE and Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 5 points to 781.