The markets closed mixed as upbeat earnings tempered soaring foreclosure rates. The Dow tumbled 40 points to 12,832 while Nasdaq added 2 points to 2426.
On the upside
The Food and Drug Administration ended its ban on Watson Pharmaceuticals' (NYSE: WPI) Florida plant allowing production to begin again after three years of scrutiny.
Rent-A-Center (Nasdaq: RCII) reported higher first quarter earnings that surpassed expectations.
On the downside
LCA-Vision (Nasdaq: LCAV) blamed weak demand and higher costs for first quarter earnings that dropped to fall far short of estimates.
While strong international sales lifted first quarter earnings for Agco (NYSE: AG) to more than twice last year's income, the agricultural equipment company forecast full year results below expectations.First quarter earnings rose for Olin (NYSE: OLN) as prices improved, but the chemicals company warned that second quarter results will disappoint.
In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 7 to 5 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks dropped 6 points to 719.