Opening Bell Report

The markets opened lower after the latest batch of corporate earnings confirmed weakness in the U.S. economy. The Dow lost 20 points to 12,187 while Nasdaq fell 8 points to 2317.

On the upside

CME Group (NYSE: CME) confirmed that it is in discussions to buy Nymex Holdings (NYSE: NMX) for about $11 billion in cash and stock.

The board of apparel maker Kellwood (NYSE: KWD) decided not to block a $542.3 million takeover bid by a private investment firm Sun Capital Securities Group.

Shares of Acorda Therapeutics (Nasdaq: ACOR) rose following a report that its drug treatment for multiple sclerosis generated test results that did not increase abnormal heart rhythms.

On the downside

Shares of McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) lost ground after the fast-food chain reported an impressive 4th quarter which was dampered by weak U.S. sales.

YRC Worldwide (Nasdaq: YRCW) posted a large 4th quarter loss after the trucking company took a one-time restructuring charge.

Israel-based wireless equipment maker Ceragon Networks (Nasdaq: CRNT) swung to profitability, but investors used the news to take profits.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 4 to 3 on the NYSE and by more than 3 to 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks fell 6 points to 682.

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