Closing Bell Report

The markets closed mixed despite a gain in factory orders as oil inventories declined. The Dow gained 13 points to 13,057 while Nasdaq dropped 7 point to 2603.

On the upside

Hoku Scientific (Nasdaq: HOKU) hired Idaho Power to build a polysilicon plant in Pocatello, Idaho.

The fraud investigation of WellCare Health Plans (NYSE: WCG) appears to be limited to the Floriday Medicaid business.

Enterra Energy Trust (NYSE: ENT) will sell Canadian oil and gas properties to three parties for approximately $40.9 million.

On the downside

Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Jeff Mintz expects Volcom (Nasdaq: VLCM) to experience a challenging retail market in the first half of 2008.

To clamp down on fraud, the IRS may limit tax preparers such as Jackson Hewitt (NYSE: JTX) from offering refund anticipation loans.

Media General (NYSE: MEG) retained the services of lobbying firm Dow Lohnes Government Strategies to lobby the government to weaken media ownership restrictions.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 9 to 7 on the NYSE while decliners edged out advancers by more than 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks tumbled 9 points to 745.

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