Mid-Day Report

Rising consumer prices weighed down the markets during the midday with the Dow tumbling 74 points to 12,263. Nasdaq lost 10 points to 2296.

On the upside

Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) will pay approximately $195 million to acquire biopharmaceutical Encysive Pharmaceuticals(Nasdaq: ENCY).

As part of a restructuring plan, Walter Industries (NYSE: WLT) will lay off workers and close 36 sales centers.

Although LTX Corp. (Nasdaq: LTXX) reported a loss for the second quarter, sales rose.

On the downside

NutriSystem (Nasdaq: NTRI) forecast first quarter as well as full year revenue well below analyst estimates prompting a downgrade.

While Crocs (Nasdaq: CROX) reported sharply higher fourth quarter earnings, the colorful plastic shoemaker forecast 2008 results that fell short of expectations.

Fourth quarter earnings for Suntech Power Holdings (NYSE: STP) rose but not enough to meet expectations.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 9 to 7 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 2 points to 700.

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