Existing home sales fell unexpectedly to weigh the markets down to a lower open with the Dow slipping 17 points to 13,152. Nasdaq added 2 points to 3076.
On the upside
Hartford Financial (NYSE: HIG) will discontinue its annuity business and may explore the possible sale of its life insurance business.
FSI International (Nasdaq: FSII) reported lower second quarter earnings but orders more than doubled.
On the downside
Baker Hughes (NYSE: BHI) warned of sequentially lower first quarter earnings.
Moody's Investors Service placed Assured Guaranty (NYSE: AGO) on review for a possible downgrade.
Investors locked in profits of Suntech Power (NYSE: STP), Trinal Solar (NYSE: TSL) and Yingli Green Energy (NYSE: YGE) whose stock price all climbed yesterday when the Commerce Department announced lower than expected tariffs on Chinese solar products.
In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 9 to 7 on the NYSE and by nearly 9 to 7 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks eased a point to 827.