May 20, 2008 at 11:00 AM EDT
Opening Bell Report

The markets tumbled at the onset with the Dow losing 149 points to 12,878 while Nasdaq lost 20 points to 2495. Investors worried about inflation as the price of oil edged toward the $130 a barrel mark.

On the upside

Discount retail store operator Target (NYSE: TGT) posted lower profits on slightly higher revenues, but the results beat estimates.

Shares of Pacific Ethanol (Nasdaq: PEIX) rallied for a second day in a row after the ethanol producer delivered better than expected results.

Continental Resources (NYSE: CLR) confirmed that test drilling generated positive results at its North Dakota and Montana shale plays.


On the downside

Futures and options broker MF Global (NYSE: MF) reported a loss which was blamed on a rogue trader and a decline in interest income.

Airline stocks tumbled as oil prices surged higher. Shares of AMR (NYSE: AMR) which operates American Airlines lost ground.

Shares of for-profit education company Career Education (Nasdaq; CECO) fell after an analyst downgrade.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 3 points to 735.

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