Greece continued struggling with its debt problems to weigh the markets down to a shapely lower open with the Dow plunging 108 points to 12,55. Nasdaq tumbled 28 points to 2787.
On the upside
Gores Group will take Pep Boys - Manny, Moe & Jack (NYSE: PBY) private for approximately $791 million in cash.
ABB will pay approximately $3.9 billion in cash to acquire Thomas & Betts (NYSE: TNB).
The Food and Drug Administration approved Amylin Pharmaceuticals' (Nasdaq: AMLN) diabetes treatment Bydureon on Friday.
On the downside
Cell Therapeutics (Nasdaq: CTIC) withdrew the New Drug Application for its non-Hodgkin's lymphoma treatment Pixuvri.
Gannett (NYSE: GCI) reported sharply lower fourth quarter earnings as revenue dropped.
StemCells (Nasdaq: STEM) reported upbeat preclinical data that its purified human neural stem cells preserved vision in an animal model of retinal disease but the stock price fell.
In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 5 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 4 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks dropped 9 points to 789.