Investors worried about the economy following a weak February employment report by the Labor Department. The markets opened mostly lower with the Dow losing another 50 points to drop below 12,000 shortly after the opening bell. Nasdaq slipped 3 points to 2216.
On the upside
Gun maker Smith & Wesson (Nasdaq: SWHC) posted a 3rd quarter loss versus year-ago profits due to higher costs. The results beat analysts' expectations.
Shares of Ciena (Nasdaq: CIEN) rose after the communications equipment company posted profits that tripled and boosted its outlook for the year.
National Semiconductor (NYSE: NSM) posted lower profits that beat estimates as demand from handset makers rose.
On the downside
PeopleSupport (Nasdaq: PSPT) posted higher profits and announced a stock buyback, but its shares tumbled after the business outsourcing company lowered its guidance for the 1st quarter.
Shares of DealerTrack (Nasdaq: TRAK) continued to slump after an analyst downgraded the technology provider for the automotive retail industry.
In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 4 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 3 points to 660.