Fears Swine Flu Will Hurt Economic Recovery
Concerns that a swine flu outbreak will further weaken the fragile global economy weighed down the markets during the midday with the Dow dropping 66 points to 8009. Nasdaq lost 15 points to 1679.

On the upside

Shares of Hecla Mining (NYSE: HL) rose ahead of its earnings release tomorrow.

Although first quarter earnings for Whirlpool (NYSE: WHR) tumbled, the results topped estimates and the major appliance maker affirmed its full year guidance.

Shares of Beazer Homes (NYSE: BZH) and Hovnanian Enterprises (NYSE: HOV) continued to rise after a smaller than expected slip in new home sales report last week.

On the downside

UBS analyst William Truelove downgraded DiamondRock Hospitality (Nasdaq: DRH) after a recent surge in the stock price.

Shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE: RCL) and Carnival (NYSE: CCL) plunged over fears that the swine flu outbreak will further hurt the travel industry.

Shares of pork producer Smithfield Foods (NYSE: SFD) plunged amidst fears of the swine flue.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 7 to 3 on the NYSE and by nearly 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap tumbled 9 points to 469.

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