The markets traded mixed during the midday as falling oil prices tempered a sharp drop in consumer confidence. The Dow lost 11 points to 12,538 while Nasdaq gained 8 points to 2335.
On the upside
South Korean company DC Chemical will supply Suntech Power Holdings (NYSE: STP) with polysilicon in an eight year agreement.
Recessionary fears boosted gold prices to lift shares of Kinross Gold (NYSE: KGC) higher.
Shares of Arch Coal (NYSE: ACI) rose after Friedman Billings Ramsey analyst David Khani issued a research note saying that coal exports are expected to surge 300%.
On the downside
Accentia's (Nasdaq: ABPI) late stage clinical trial of its chronic sinusitis treatment SinuNase.
SiRF Technology Holdings (Nasdaq: SIRF) blamed the weak economy for cutting its first quarter outlook and eliminating 7% of its positions.
Biovail (NYSE: BVF) must pay a $10 million fine to settle Securities and Exchange Commission charges of accounting fraud.
In the broad market, adancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 3 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 9 to 7 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a point to 702.