The markets traded above the flatline during the midday with the Dow adding 5 points to 13,555. Nasdaq gained 11 points to 2725.
On the upside
American Technology Research analyst John Hardy issued a client note with an upbeat view of the alternative energy sector sending shares of China Sunergy (Nasdaq: CSUN) higher.
Richard Prati of American Technology Research commented that Cree (Nasdaq: CREE) was one of a few companies making chips for energy efficient, environmentally safe LED lighting systems.
MRV Communications' (Nasdaq: MRVC) Source Photonics subsidiary filed for an initial public offering.
On the downside
Shares of homebuilder Standard Pacific (NYSE: SPF) dropped as October home prices tumbled for the tenth month on a row.
Shares of Guess? (NYSE: GES) fell over disappointing holiday retail sales.
Disappointing holiday retail sales weighed down shares of Men's Wearhouse (NYSE: MW).
In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 4 on the NYSE while advancers barely edged out decliners on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a fraction to 795.