WHO Raises Alert Level For Swine Flu, Markets Open Lower
The World Health Organization increased its alert level for the swine flu outbreak indicating that the virus is significantly transmissable human to human. The markets opened lower with the Dow dropping 70 points to 7954. Nasdaq fell 14 points to 1665.

On the upside

While Parexel International (Nasdaq: PRXL) reported flat third quarter earnings as expenses rose, the company raised its full year earnings guidance.

Office Depot (NYSE: ODP) blamed the slumping global economy for swinging to a first quarter loss but the results beat analyst expectations.

Southwestern Energy (NYSE: SWN) cited a significant impairment charge for swinging to a loss for the first quarter but the results surpassed estimates.

On the downside

Although Rent-A-Center (Nasdaq: RCII) reported higher first quarter earnings, revenue slipped to fall short of estimates and the company forecast disappointing second quarter results prompting a downgrade.

Unisys (NYSE: UIS) widened first quarter losses as revenue fell.

Delphi Financial Group (NYSE: DFG) priced its public offering of 3 million shares of common stock at $17.50 per share.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap lost 2 points to 467.

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