Closing Bell Report

It was a mixed close for the markets as record oil prices tempered merger news. The Dow dropped 20 points to 12,872 while Nasdaq added a point to 2424.

On the upside

UAL Corp. (NYSE: UAUA) and US Airways Group (NYSE: LCC) are engaged in advanced merger discussions with an announcement expected in several weeks.

Third quarter earnings for food distributor Sysco (NYSE: SYY) rose to surpass estimates despite a difficult environment.

Texas Industries (NYSE: TXI) will pay a quarterly dividend of 7.5 cents per share on May 30 to shareholders of record May 2.

On the downside

Carolina Group (NYSE: CG) reported lower first quarter earnings that fell short of estimates due to higher advertising expenses.

First quarter earnings fell for Loews (NYSE: LTR) to miss expectations as sales in its insurance and tobacco units dropped.

Jefferies analyst Richard Shane Jr. downgraded Cash America (NYSE: CSH) for its high valuation.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 7 to 5 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 4 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 3 points to 725.

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