Mixed Open Over Economic Data

Merger and acquisition news tempered disappointment with a larger than expected drop in January housing starts. The markets opened mixed with the Dow rising 11 points to 14,046 while Nasdaq lost 5 points to 3207.

On the upside

Total System Services (NYSE: TSS) will pay a premium of approximately $1.4 billion in cash to acquire Netspend Holdings (Nasdaq: NTSP).

Office Depot (NYSE: ODP) and OfficeMax (NYSE: OMX) will merge in an all stock transaction valued at approximately $1.2 billion.

Sina (Nasdaq: SINA) reported lower fourth quarter earnings but the results beat analyst expectations by a wide margin.

On the downside

Millennial Media (NYSE: MM) will acquire privately held mobile media buying and targeting platform Metaresolver in an all cash deal.

Indonesia did not approve Harvest Natural Resources' (NYSE: HNR) proposed $725 million sale of its Venezuelan subsidiary HNR Energia BV to Indonesia's PT Pertamina.

Oncolytics Biotech (Nasdaq: ONCY) priced its public offering of 8 million common shares at the discounted price of $4.00 per share.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by 9 to 7 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 index slipped 2 points to 1528.

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