Closing Bell Report

Despite a bold half percentage rate cut by the Federal Reserve, the markets closed lower over continued concerns about the health of the economy. The Dow tumbled 37 points to 12,443 while Nasdaq dropped 9 points to 2349.

On the upside

TBS International (Nasdaq: TBSI) took possession of a new ship and expects to expand its fleet with five additional ships by the end of the first quarter.

An affiliate of Aurora Capital will purchase NuCO2 (Nasdaq: NUCO) in a deal valued at $487 million.

Robert Half International (NYSE: RHI) reported higher fourth quarter earnings that beat expectations as revenue rose.

On the downside

Analysts downgraded Cymer (Nasdaq: CYMI) after the company warned that revenue will fall in 2008.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that Phase I of an experimental wellness program will end as scheduled at the end of the year but failed to indicate whether the program will be expanded sending shares of wellness program provider Healthways (Nasdaq: HWAY) plummeting.

Municipal Mortgage & Equity (NYSE: MMA) will not be able to file its financial restatements by the March 2 deadline set by the NYSE and expects to be delisted.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 4 to 3 on the NYSE and by nearly the same on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks dropped 10 points to 695.

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