The markets drifted lower following news of U.S. home prices falling 11.4% in January. The Dow lost 83 points to 12,465 while Nasdaq fell 8 points to 2317.
On the upside
Agriculture chemicals company Monsato (NYSE: MON) boosted its full-year outlook.
Shares of mortgage lender and investor Thornburg Mortgage (NYSE: TMA) rallied after announcing a raise of $1.35 billion through a private-placement deal to keep the company afloat and to avoid bankruptcy.
On the downside
Analysts downgraded their opinions of Merrill Lynch & Co (NYSE: MER) and lowered their earnings forecasts for the investment banker.
MGIC Investment (NYSE: MTG) announced plans to sell more convertible debt into the private market. The nation's largest mortgage insurer to offer $420 million in stock.
In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 4 to 3 on the NYSE and by 5 to 4 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped a point to 700.