Despite Assurances From Bernanke, Markets Close Lower
Although Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke reassured investors that the economy is poised to expand in the later half of 2009, the markets closed modestly lower as the services sector registered another contraction. The Dow slipped 16 points to 8410 while Nasdaq fell 9 points to 1754.

On the upside

Shares of Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS) surged ahead of its earnings release after market close.

AtriCure (Nasdaq: ATRC) reported a smaller than expected first quarter loss as revenue rose and announced that it entered a $10 million credit facility.

Although Radian Group (NYSE: RDN) swung to a first quarter loss, the mortgage insurer reassured investors that it had adequate liquidity.

On the downside

Legg Mason (NYSE: LM) widened fourth quarter losses and cut its quarterly dividend prompting a downgrade.

Although D. R. Horton (NYSE: DHI) narrowed second quarter losses, revenue fell short of expectations.

FMC (NYSE: FMC) reported lower first quarter earnings as revenue fell, forecast second quarter results below estimates and trimmed its 2009 outlook.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 6 to 5 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap slipped 4 points to 502.

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