Closing Bell Report

The markets closed near the flatline over mixed earnings news. The Dow added a point to 12,620 while Nasdaq lost 8 points to 2342.

On the upside

Although Leggett & Platt (NYSE: LEG) reported lower first quarter earnings due to weak demand, the diversified manufacturer beat estimates prompting an upgrade.

A drop in interest expenses lifted first quarter earnings for Knoll (NYSE: KNL) to surpass estimates.

AmeriCredit (NYSE: ACF) entered a one year $2 billion forward purchase agreement with Deutsche Bank.

On the downside

First quarter earnings for Polycom (Nasdaq: PLCM) rose but the company forecast second quarter results below expectations.

SunPower (Nasdaq: SPWR) reported sharply higher first quarter earnings as revenue climbed prompting the company to raise its second quarter outlook as well as its full year guidance. However, the stock price tumbled after the solar power products maker changed the wording of its revenue forecast for 2009.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Gerard Cassidy downgraded Astoria Financial (NYSE: AF) after the company reported lower first quarter earnings.

In the broad market, declining issues barely edged out advancers by a slim margin on the NYSE while decliners outpaced advancers by nearly 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks dropped 5 points to 708.

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