Mid-Day Report

The markets traded in negative territory during the midday over disappointing manufacturing data. The Dow dropped 70 points to 12,358 while Nasdaq lost 9 points to 2318.

On the upside

HLTH (Nasdaq: HLTH) reported lower fourth quarter earnings after spinning off its health care technology business and announced a $2.31 billion merger deal with its subsidiary WebMD Health (Nasdaq: WBMD).

Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) cited strong holiday sales for boosting its subscriber growth forecast for the fourth quarter.

Furniture Brands International (NYSE: FBN) received a buyout offer from Sun Capital Securities.

On the downside

Vasco Data Security International (Nasdaq: VDSI) reported disappointing fourth quarter earnings that fell far short of expectations due to the delay of three large contracts.

Boston Private Financial Holdings (Nasdaq: BPFH) affiliate First Private Bank & Trust plans to raise its loan loss provision by as much as $19 million prompting a downgrade.

Lithia Motors (NYSE: LAD) swung to a loss for the fourth quarter and forecast first quarter as well as full year results well below expectations.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 10 to 9 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks eased a point to 709.

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