Closing Bell Report

Weak economic data sent the markets tumbling to a sharply lower close with the Dow plunging 143 points to 12,284. Nasdaq plummeted 27 points to 2300.

On the upside

The acquisition of rival ADVO lifted fourth quarter earnings three times for Valassis (NYSE: VCI) to beat expectatins by a wide margin.

American Railcar Industries (Nasdaq: ARII) reported higher fourth quarter earnings as efficiency improved and railcar shipment capacity increased.

Fourth quarter earnings rose to surpass estimates for TRW Automotive Holdings (NYSE: TRW) as international sales increased.

On the downside

LodgeNet (Nasdaq: LNET) reported a loss for the fourth quarter.

Although fourth quarter earnings soared for 3SBio (Nasdaq: SSRX), the results fell short of estimates and the biotech forecast disappointing 2008 revenue.

Fourth quarter earnings doubled for Hertz Global Holdings (NYSE: HTZ) but the rental car company forecast 2008 revenue below estimates.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks tumbled 14 points to 696.

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