Opening Bell Report

The markets opened mostly lower as March retail sales inched up mostly due to higher receipts at gasoline service stations. The Dow edged up 3 points to 12,329 while Nasdaq lost 5 points to 2284.

On the upside

Circuit City (NYSE: CC) received an unsolicited bid from Blockbuster (NYSE: BBI) to merge its chain of video stores with retail electronic stores in a $1 billion deal.

Pinnacle Airlines (Nasdaq: PNCL) was upgraded by an analyst citing strong cash flow in the coming years.

Pilgrim's Pride (NYSE: PPC) announced plans to cut chicken processing by 5% in order to cut costs amid higher feed prices.

On the downside

Wachovia (NYSE: WB) posted an unexpected 1st quarter loss, cut its dividend and announced a $7 billion cash infusion through stock sale and conversions.

Shares of Cymer (Nasdaq: CYMI) fell after an analyst downgraded the maker of laser for chip manufacturing.

Federated Investors (NYSE: FII) posted higher profits and revenues, but the higher cost of maintaining money market accounts cut into margins. Its clients have shifting money away from stock funds into safer accounts.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 4 to 3 on the NYSE and by nearly 4 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 2 points to 685.

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