Closing Bell Report

The markets closed modestly lower as oil prices set another record close and construction spending plunged. The Dow lost 7 points to 12,259 while Nasdaq dropped 13 points to 2259.

On the upside

South African miner Harmony Gold Mining (NYSE: HMY) sold two gold sites for approximately $7.5 million in addition to a royalty.

While fourth quarter earnings for Coeur d'Alene Mines (NYSE: CDE) fell, the results surpassed expectations as the company lowered expenses.

Rising coal prices lifted shares of Massey Energy (NYSE: MEE).

On the downside

Bond insurer Security Capital Assurance (NYSE: SCA) warned that it will report a $1.5 billion charge for the fourth quarter.

Fremont General (NYSE: FMT) was downgraded by Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor's last week. Standard & Poor's will also remove Fremont from the SmallCap 600 Index after markets close today.

Two analysts cut their price targets for Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL).

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 4 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped 2 points to 684.

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