The markets turned negative during the midday with the Dow losing 37 points to 13,962 as the nation moved closer to the sequester. Nasdaq slipped 2 points to 3159.
On the upside
Endo Health Solutions (Nasdaq: ENDP) named Rajiv De Silva as its new president and chief executive.
Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) founder Leonard Riggio will attempt to purchase the booksellers retail business.
Canaccord upgraded Venaxis (Nasdaq: APPY) to a Buy rating.
On the downside
Piper Jaffray analyst Jagadish Iyer lowered his 2013 earnings and revenue guidance for Universal Display (Nasdaq: PANL) saying that the company may not be the solo components vendor for Samsung's Galaxy S4.
Sinopec will acquire a 50% stake in Chesapeake Energy's (NYSE: CHK) Oklahoma assets at a discounted price.
Dillard's (NYSE: DDS) reported higher fourth quarter earnings but the results missed analyst estimates.
In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 7 to 5 on the NYSE and by more than 3 to 2 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 index lost 4 points to 1511.