Opening Bell Report

Investors mulled over the latest batch of blue chip acquisition news while concerns about the tight credit market lingered. The Dow lost 81 points to 13,258 while Nasdaq dropped 22 points to 2613.

On the upside

Trane (NYSE: TT) received a $10.1 billion offer from Ingersoll-Rand (NYSE: IR) to combine their air conditioner business.

Houston-based oil drilling equipment maker, Grant Prideco (NYSE:GRP), received a $7.37 bilion bid from Nation Oilwell Varco (NYSE: NOV).

Loews (NYSE: LTR), which is led by the Tisch family, announced plans to spin off its Lorillard cigarette operations into a separate publicly traded company.

On the downside

Illinois Tool Works (NYSE: ITW) lowered its 4th quarter earnings outlook due to weak North American sales despite growing international revenues.

Trading in Dendreon (Nasdaq: DNDN) remained volatile as investors mulled over the possibility of a congressional probe into the hastily withdrawn approval of a promising cancer drug which had received strong market support from cancer patients.

Mechel OAO (NYSE: MTL), a Russian mining company, refinanced its acquisitions through a $2 billion loan.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 4 points to 749.

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