Lower Open As Higher Gas Prices Lift Retail Sales

February retail sales rose more than expected due to higher gas prices. The markets opened lower with the Dow losing 25 points to 14,424 while Nasdaq slipped 6 points to 3235.

On the upside

Silver Spring Networks (NYSE: SSNI) soared in its market debut.

WMware (NYSE: VMW) will extend its software-defined data center and expand its hybrid cloud service.

BG Medicine (Nasdaq: BGMD) narrowed fourth quarter losses as revenue surged.

On the downside

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SPPI) warned that first quarter sales of its chemotherapy side effects treatment Fusilev will drop.

Express (NYSE: EXPR) reported higher fourth quarter earnings and revenue but the clothing retailer forecast current quarter and full year earnings that fell far short of analyst expectations.

Velti (Nasdaq: VELT) fell to a loss for the fourth quarter and forecast current quarter and full year revenue well below expectations.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 7 to 5 on the NYSE and by more than 9 to 7 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 index slipped 2 points to 1550.

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