Opening Bell Report

The markets opened mixed as investors remained concerned about inflation and higher jobless claims. The Dow slipped 7 points to 13,223 while Nasdaq held steady at 2644.

On the upside

Semiconductor equipment maker Applied Materials (Nasdaq: AMAT) announced lower profits, but the results beat expectations.

Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) announced that it would raised its dividend for the 1st quarter of 2008.

Ralcorp Holdings (NYSE: RAH) will issue $1.65 billion in stock and assume $950 million in debt to acquire cereal brands from Kraft Foods (NYSE: KFT).

On the downside

J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP) blamed weak same-store sales for a slight decline in overall revenues while slashing its outlook for the holiday season.

Shares of Sina (Nasdaq: SINA) tumbled after the Chinese Internet company posted higher profits against declining mobile service sales.

Shares of BEA Systems (Nasdaq: BEAS) lost ground after comments from Oracle's CEO indicated that a new bid for the software company would be unlikely.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 3 points to 779.

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