The markets opened lower as investors mulled over weak economic data and corporate profit woes. The Dow lost 84 points to 12,609 while Nasdaq dropped 9 points to 2344.
On the upside
Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) posted higher 4th quarter profits to surpass estimates while boosting its outlook for 2008. The company is a provider of online sales management software.
Ctrip.com (Nasdaq: CTRP) posted profits that doubled. Analysts raised their opinion on the China-based online travel agent ahead of the summer Olympics in China.
IHOP (NYSE: IHP) predicted an increase in same-store sales at its recently acquired Applebee's chain.
On the downside
Shares of Thornburg Mortgage (NYSE: TMA) tumbled after the lender to homeowners with minor credit problems reported that the company has a received margin calls.
Mylan (NYSE: MYL) posted a loss due to the cost of an acquisition. Analysts were also concerned about the drug makers uncertain sales outlook.
Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) reported a nearly $30 billion loss to beat expectations. More vexing for investors was the loss of more than 100,000 subscribers in the 4th quarter.
In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 6 points to 709.