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Lower Open As Housing Starts Drop

A drop in housing starts weighed the markets down to a lower open with the Dow tumbling 95 points to 13,145. Nasdaq dropped 22 points to 3056.

On the upside

Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) reported lower fourth quarter earnings but the upscale jewelry retailer forecast 2012 earnings and revenue ahead of estimates.

Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) denied rumors that it was issuing a secondary offering.

The U. S. Patent Office issued Galena Biopharma (Nasdaq: GALE) a Notice of Allowance for a patent for the company's NeuVax breast cancer vaccine.

On the downside

AstarZeneca and Targacept (Nasdaq: TRGT) announced disappointing results from a Phase 3 clinical trial of their antidepressant TC-5214 and will no longer pursue regulatory approval for the treatment.

Regency Energy Partners (NYSE: RGP) priced its public offering of 11 million common units at the discounted price of $24.47 per unit.

DHT Holdings (NYSE: DHT) announced an $80 million backstopped equity offering.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 7 to 2 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks fell 7 points to 830.

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