Looming mandatory budget cuts sent the markets into a tailspin in the late afternoon with the Dow collapsing 216 points to 13,784. Nasdaq plummeted 45 points to 3116.
On the upside
EDAP (Nasdaq: EDAP) reported positive data from a long term study of its high intensity focused ultrasound therapy for prostate cancer patients.
Ruckus Wireless (NYSE: RKUS) unveiled its new SmartCell Architecture to address increased data demands.
The Food and Drug Administration approved Ocean Bio-Chem's (Nasdaq: OBCI) Xtrem-A-Cide P disinfectant.
On the downside
Concerns that Central European Distribution (Nasdaq: CEDC) may not be able to make debt payments next month sank shares of the vodka maker.
Quicksilver Resources (NYSE: KWK) blamed a significant impairment charge for falling to a loss for the fourth quarter.
CommonWealth (NYSE: CWH) disappointed with a loss for the fourth quarter and announced a public offering of 27 million common shares.
In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 4 to 1 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 index plunged 27 points to 1487.