The nation's economy expanded at a lower than expected 2.8% annual pace in the fourth quarter to weigh the markets down to a lower open with the Dow dropping 74 points to 12,660. Nasdaq edged up a fraction to 2806.
On the upside
Cepheid (Nasdaq: CPHD) fell to a loss for the fourth quarter but the results surpassed analyst expectations and the company forecast 2012 results well ahead of estimates.
Informatica (Nasdaq: INFA) reported higher fourth quarter earnings that topped estimates and expects its pipeline to rise in the first quarter.
On the downside
Riverbed Technology (Nasdaq: RVBD) reported higher fourth quarter earnings as revenue climbed but the company warned of a drop in the growth of its Steelhead product line in the first quarter.
Ford (NYSE: F) reported sharply higher fourth quarter earnings due to an accounting change but the results fell short of analyst expectations.
Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR) disappointed with lower fourth quarter earnings and forecast first quarter results that fell far short of expectations.
In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 4 on the NYSE while decliners edged out advancers by a slim margin on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks edged up a fraction to 793.