The markets opened mixed with the major indexes on the downside as companies lowered their profit outlook. The Dow lost 14 points to 12,562 while Nasdaq fell 10 points to 2338.
On the upside
Citigroup (NYSE: C) may be close to selling off $12 billion in leveraged loans to private equity firms and improving its balance sheet in the process, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
Graphite electrode maker GrafTech International (NYSE: GTI) was upgraded by an analyst citing strong worldwide demand offsetting the weak U.S. market.
On the downside
Shares of United Parcel Service (NYSE: UPS) fell after the courier lowered its earnings forecast for the 1st quarter due to the week economy.
Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) reported that a handful of smokers testing its inhaled insulin drug treatment developed lung cancer. Shares of its partner Nektar Therapeutics (Nasdaq: NKTR) promptly fell while shares of rival Mannkind (Nasdaq: MNKD) tumbled.
In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin
of more than 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by 4 to 3 on
Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 3 points to 708.