Closing Bell Report

It was a mixed close for the markets despite disappointing earnings as bargain hunters looked for deals. The Dow dropped 45 points to 12,214 while Nasdaq added 2 points to 2260.

On the upside

Nuance Communications (Nasdaq: NUAN) introduced its new PaperPort PSP Desktop application that can personalize menus of certain HP printers.

American Axle & Manufacturing (NYSE: AXL) said last week that the plants that the United Auto Workers union have been holding a strike against are not profitable.

Natco Group (NYSE: NTG) recovered some of its losses from yesterday when the company announced the delay of its annual report.

On the downside

Although Obagi Medical Products (Nasdaq: OMPI) reported higher fourth quarter earnings, the results fell short of estimates and the skin care products maker forecast 2008 earnings below expectations.

The Food and Drug Administration will review sites where Theravance (Nasdaq: THRX) is conducting late stage drug trials for its skin infection medication telavancin.

First quarter profit for NCI Building Systems (NYSE: NCS) fell and the company lowered its 2008 outlook due to the slowdown in construction.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 3 points to 681.

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