Despite an increase in December factory orders, the markets fell during the midday as confidence in the economy continued to waver. The Dow dropped 64 points to 12,680 while Nasdaq fell 14 points to 2399.
On the upside
Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE: FSL) will acquire Sigmatel (Nasdaq: SGTL) in a deal valued at approximately $108 million.
Billionaire investors Carl Icahn purchased 1.5 million shares of Greenbrier Cos. (NYSE: GBX), which is a 9.5% stake in the railroad freight car equipment maker.
Yingli Green Energy (NYSE: YGE) announced a thinner solar power wafer that will be cheaper to make and expects to ship more products.
On the downside
Thomas Weisel Partners analyst Liz Dunn downgraded Coldwater Creek (Nasdaq: CWTR) saying that the women's apparel retailer's growth is too aggressive.
Dollar Thrifty Automotive (NYSE: DTG) cited falling demand, weak sales and lower prices for slashing its 2007 outlook.
Analysts blamed the credit crisis for downgrading Capital One Financial (NYSE: COF).
In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 4 on the NYSE and by more than 10 to 9 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 3 ponts to 727.