European Leaders Meet Again, Markets Slump

The markets opened sharply lower with the Dow slumping 123 points to 12,503 as European leaders met again to attempt to resolve the debt crisis. Nasdaq plunged 40 points to 2834.

On the upside

Oriental Financial Group (NYSE: OFG) will pay $500 million in cash to acquire the Puerto Rican operations of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria.

Shares of Orexigen Therapeutics (Nasdaq: OREX) climbed again after rival Arena Pharmaceuticals' (Nasdaq: ARNA) weight loss treatment Lorcaserin was approved yesterday.

Encana (NYSE: ECA) will spend an additional $600 million to develop crude oil and liquids.

On the downside

JMP Securities downgraded Anthera Pharmceuticals (Nasdaq: ANTH) from Outperform to Market Perform.

Barclays (NYSE: BCS) must pay $453 million to settle an interest rate manipulation case with the U. S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, $160 million to the Justice Department for a criminal investigation of the matter and approximately $93 million to Britain's Financial Services Authority.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: VRTX) presented final mid-stage clinical trial results that were not comparable to interim results.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 3 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 4 points to 771.

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