Closing Bell Report

The markets plunged to close sharply lower after Fed chief Bernanke assessed the economy as experiencing sluggish growth. The Dow plummeted 175 points to 12,377 while Nasdaq skidded 41points to 2333.

On the upside

Moody's Investors Service said that while Ambac's (NYSE: ABK) ratings is still under review, the company is better positioned than Financial Guaranty Insurance, which was downgraded.

Analysts are hopeful that the Food and Drug Administration's inspection of a Florida manufacturing site of Watson Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: WPI) signals the end of a manufacturing hold placed on the plant in 2005.

Faro Technologies (Nasdaq: FARO) reported higher fourth quarter earnings that beat expectations.

On the downside

Fourth quarter earnings for Build-A-Bear Workshop (NYSE: BBW) tumbled to fall short of expectations due to inventory write-off costs.

UBS AG (NYSE: UBS) blamed write-downs from subprime mortgages for reporting a fourth quarter loss of $11.28 billion.

Shares of Bally Technologies (NYSE: BYI) dropped despite swinging to a second quarter profit that surpassed expectations.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 7 to 2 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plunged 17points to 705.

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