Closing Bell Report

The markets plummeted to close sharply lower as investors continued to fret about the health of the nation's economy. The Dow skidded 173 points to 13,167 while Nasdaq plunged 61points to 2574.

On the upside

Shares of Savient Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SVNT) continued to rise after the biotechnology firm reported positive trial data last week for itst gout treatment Puricase.

LDK Solar (NYSE: LDK) concluded its internal investigation and found no inventory inaccuracies.

Sallie Mae (NYSE: SLM) named chairman Albert L. Lord to the position of chief executive and will host a shareholder conference call to discuss the direction of the company.

On the downside

DryShips (Nasdaq: DRYS) will pay approximately $405 million for a 30.4% stake in Ocean Rig.

After a week of flat to weaker drybulk charter rates, shares of Excel Maritime (NYSE: EXM) tumbled.

Jefferies & Co. analyst Brian Wright said that WellCare Health Plans (NYSE: WCG) will not lose very many Medicare Advantage patients even though the government is investigating the company but the stock price dropped.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 7 to 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plunged 15 points to 739.

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