Closing Bell Report

Consumer confidence dropped as crude oil prices continued to rise weighing down the markets to a lower close with the Dow falling 35 points to 11,807. Nasdaq tumbled 17 points to 2368.

On the upside

Credit Suisse initiated coverage of homebuilder Centex (NYSE: CTX) with an Outperform rating saying that the sector should improve by spring of 2009.

Grocery store chain Kroger (NYSE: KR) reported higher first quarter earnings that beat expectations.

A rally in the financial services sector lifted shares of Lehman Brothers (NYSE: LEH).

On the downside

Sonus Networks (Nasdaq: SONS) has opened a dialogue with its largest shareholder Legatum Capital to discuss shareholder complaints.

Virgin Mobile (NYSE: VM) announced a $79.99 monthly plan for unlimited calls, $20 less than similar plans offered by competitors.

UBS downgraded Capital Trust (NYSE: CT) sending shares of the real estate investment trust tumbling to a new 52-week low.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 3 points to 716.
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