The markets opened mixed as investors awaited the Federal Reserve Bank's latest interest rate move this week. The Dow added 39 points to 12,423 while Nasdaq slipped 5 points to 2344.
On the upside
Shares of Valero Energy (NYSE: VLO) rose after the refiner posted a 4th quarter profit that beat estimates.
Crude oil inventories rose for the 2nd consecutive week. Shares of Western Refining (NYSE: WNR) were among the biggest gainers.
Countrywide Financial (NYSE: CFC) posted a larger than expected loss as the nation's largest mortgage lender took on more impairment charges. Nonetheless, the stock edged up.
On the downside
Shares of Albemarle (NYSE: ALB) tumbled after the chemical company posted lower profits which prompted an immediate analyst downgrade.
East West Bancorp (Nasdaq: EWBC) lowered its profit outlook as the bank doubled the amount it reserved for loan losses.
In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 4 on the NYSE, but were edged out by margin of nearly 4 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped 3 points to 699.