Flat Close As Fitch Downgrades Japan

The markets closed flat with the Dow easing 1 point to 12,502 despite a strong gain in existing home sales as Fitch downgraded Japan's sovereign credit rating. Nasdaq lost 8 points to 2839.

On the upside

SAP will pay a premium of approximately $4.3 billion to acquire Ariba (Nasdaq: ARBA).

Old Republic International (Nasdaq: ORI) sold a 20.6% stake in its wholly owned subsidiary Republic Financial Indemnity Group.

DSW (NYSE: DSW) reversed year ago losses to post a better than expected profit for the first quarter.

On the downside

Motley Fool's investing community expects MEMC Electronic Materials (NYSE: WFR) to outperform the S&P 500 but the stock price fell.

Shares of James River Coal (Nasdaq: JRCC) fell despite analyst Michael Dudas' recommendation yesterday to purchase shares of the stock.

Profit taking sank shares of CVR Energy (NYSE: CVI), whose stock price climbed yesterday on news that billionaire investor Carl Icahn increased his stake in the nitrogen fertilizer company to 80%.

In the broad market, advancing issues barely edged out decliners by a margin of nearly 10 to 9 on the NYSE while decliners outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks dropped 5 points to 759.

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