Opening Bell Report

The markets opened lower after retailers posted disappointing August sales while the number of unemployment claims rose. The Dow lost more than 100 points to 11,430 while Nasdaq fell 18 points to 2315.

On the upside

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT) edged higher after the world's largest discount retailer reported better than expected August sales. Shares of BJ Wholesale Club (NYSE: BJ) also rose as same-store sales posted robust gains.

Apparel retailers raised their outlook for 2009. Analysts promptly upgraded the sector while investors snapped up shares of Guess (NYSE: GES) andAmerican Eagle Outfitters (NYSE: AEO).

Business software maker Open Text (Nasdaq: OTEX) offered $131 million in cash to buy document management company Captaris (Nasdaq: CAPA).

On the downside
Telecommunications and network equipment maker Ciena (Nasdaq: CIEN) posted 3rd quarter profits that fell while lowering its revenue outlook for the current quarter.

Luxury home builder Toll Brothers (NYSE: TOL) swung to a 3rd quarter loss as revenues tumbled amid an ongoing housing slump.

Aircraft assembly workers at Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) voted overwhelmingly to strike although mediators added a 48-hour contract extension to delay the walkout itself.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 9 points to 732.

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