The major indexes opened mostly lower as investors awaited the government's plan to overhaul the financial services industry. The Dow slipped 2 points to 12,214
while Nasdaq lost 4 points to 2258.
On the upside
Oil drilling contractor Noble Corp. (NYSE: NE) signed contracts worth up to $4 billion over 29 years with Brazilian state oil company Petrobras covering 5 deepwater rigs.
Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) was identified as the brand with the strongest impact on the world's consumers, according to a poll by brandchannel.com.
On the downsideShares of Merck (NYSE: MRK) and Schering-Plough (NYSE: SGP) tumbled on reports that the companies' joint anti-cholestrol drug may be ineffective.
Citigroup (NYSE: C) announced plans to split its consumer banking unit from its credit card business.
Egg producer Cal-Maine Foods (Nasdaq: CALM) posted sharply higher revenues and earnings due to soaring egg prices and high demand. Investors decided to take profits on the stock as it neared an all-time record high.
In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by
a margin of 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 2 to 1 on
Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks edged up a point to 684.