March 17, 2008 at 10:45 AM EDT
Opening Bell Report

Stunned by the collapse of Bear Stearns and its firesale to JPMorgan, investors sold off on financial-related stocks. The overall market tumbled with the Dow losing 142 ponts to 11,808 while Nasdaq lost 36 points to 2175.

On the upside

Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross paid $1.1 billion to take over H&R Block's (NYSE: HRB) troubled Opton One mortage service business. An offer by Cerberus Capital Management to buy the $53 billion mortgage origination had previously fallen through.

Cardiome Pharma (Nasdaq: CRME) reported positive clinical results for its oral drug treatment to regulate heart rhythm.

Arena Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ARNA) announced that its obesity drug treatment passed a review for cardiovascular safety.

On the downside

Shares of Bear Stearns (NYSE: BSC) tumbled 90% after JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) offered a handful of shares to buy out the beleaguered investment bank.

Washington Mutual (NYSE: WM) was downgraded by analysts following a downgrade by Moody's Investors Services.

KMG Chemicals (Nasdaq: KMGB) posted higher sales and income, but the maker of specialty chemicals expected flat to lower sales for the rest of the year.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 10 to 1 on the NYSE and by 7 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plunged 11 points to 652.

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