Opening Bell Report

The markets opened sharply lower on continued worries about oil prices and a stumbling financial services sector. The Dow lost over 100 points to 11,960 while Nasdaq tumbled 23 points to 2439.

On the upside

Fifth Third Bankcorp (Nasdaq: FITB) bucked the selloff among banks following an analyst upgrade.

Money transfer services firm Western Union (NYSE: WU) announced a $1 billion stock purchase.

The price of gold rose lifting mining companies. Investors snapped up shares of Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX) and Newmont Mining (NYSE: NEM).

On the downside

Investors were particularly worried about Merrill Lynch (NYSE: MER) missing its earnings forecast with some analysts predicting a loss for the latest quarter.

Rumors continued to swirl around Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) of a major management shakeup.

CVR Energy (NYSE: CVI) announced plans to offer $125 million in convertible senior notes due 2013.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 3 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 10 points to 726.
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