Closing Bell Report

Investors disappointed that the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates by a modest quarter percentage point to 4.25% instead of a more aggressive half percentage point cut sent the markets tumbling to a sharply lower close with the Dow plummeting 294 points to 13,433. Nasdaq skidded 67 points to 2652.

On the upside

Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: JAVA) offered the design of its OpenSPARC T2 processor for free to the open source community through a GPL license.

Kinetics Asset Management and Royce and Associates purchased more than a 30% stake in U. S. Global Investors (Nasdaq: GROW).

Nepstar Chain Drugstore (NYSE: NPD) reported sharply higher third quarter earnings as both revenue and margins climbed.

On the downside

The stock price of Chinese educational services firm ChinaEdu (Nasdaq: CEDU) tumbled on its first trading day.

AmTech Research initiated coverage of Flir Systems (Nasdaq: FLIR) with a Sell rating.

Shares of homebuilder Centex (NYSE: CTX) plunged after the Federal Reserve announced a modest quarter point interest rate cut instead of the hoped for half a percentage point cut.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 5 to 1 on the NYSE and by 7 to 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plummeted 25 points to 766.

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