Mid-Day Report

The markets traded lower during the midday as housing construction fell to a 16-year low. The Dow dropped 51 points to 13,116 while Nasdaq dropped 15 points to 2559.

On the upside

Epix Pharmaceuticals' (Nasdaq: EPIX) Alzheimer's treatment PRX-03140 improved patient memory in a midstage short term drug trial.

Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG) will acquire Visicu (Nasdaq: EICU) for $430 million in cash.

Canaccord Adams upgraded Quicksilver Resources (NYSE: KWK) after natural gas and oil company unveiled a $885 million spending plan for 2008.

On the downside

J. P. Morgan downgraded Starent Networks (Nasdaq: STAR).

Agrium (NYSE: AGU) closed its offering of common shares.

Avnet (NYSE: AVT) completed its acquisition of the IT Solution Division of Acal.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 4 on the NYSE and by 10 to 9 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks held steady at 739.

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