The markets traded near the flatline ahead of the Federal Reserve's interest rate decision. The Dow added 7 points to 13,734 while Nasdaq gained 7 points to 2726.
On the upside
AT&T (NYSE: T) will increase its dividend to 40 cents per share from 35.5 cents per share, repurchase up to 400 million shares of common stock and will expand its U-verse television service to be available to 30 million customers by 2010.
ArvinMeritor (NYSE: ARM) affirmed its 2008 guidance and announced plans to purchase Mascot Truck Parts for an undisclosed sum.
On the downside
Analysts downgraded Panacos Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: PANC) after the company released disappointing trial results for its HIV treatment bevirimat.
Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrances (Nasdaq: ULTA) warned of a competitive holiday shopping season.
NCI Building Systems (NYSE: NCS) blamed a challenging market for fourth quarter earnings that fell and warned that its 2008 results will fall short of expectations.
In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 7 to 5 on the NYSE and by nearly 10 to 9 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks held steady at 791.