May 20, 2008 at 15:05 PM EDT
Mid-Day Report

Record oil prices sent the markets tumbling during the midday with the Dow plummeting 228 points to 12,800. Nasdaq plunged 29 point to 2487.

On the upside

Esmark (Nasdaq: ESMK) received a competing buyout offer from Russian company OAO Severstal that matches the $17 per share offer from Indian company Essar Steel Holdings. Severstal claims that it has the support of the United Steelworkers union.

Although third quarter results fell for United Natural Foods, (Nasdaq: UNFI) the results surpassed estimates.

Beacon Power (Nasdaq: BCON) received the necessary environmental approval from the Stephentown Planning Board to build a 20 megawatt flywheel regulation plant.


On the downside

China TechFaith Wireless Communication (NYSE: CNTF) swung to a profit for the first quarter as sales surged and the cell phone design company forecast strong second quarter sales but the stock price tumbled.

Friedman Billings Ramsey downgraded Casey's General Stores (Nasdaq: CASY) saying that record gas prices will hurt sales.

Saks (NYSE: SKS) reported higher first quarter earnings but the results fell short of estimates as gross margin fell.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 3 points to 735.

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