Slip In Housing Starts Weighs Down Markets

The markets traded lower during the midday with the Dow falling 54 points to 13,184 as housing starts slipped in February. Nasdaq lost 10 points to 3067.

On the upside

Recon Technology (Nasdaq: RCON) introduced the Baker Hughes Frac-Point System to China Petroleum and Chemical's Zhongyuan oilfield.

Amarin (NYSE: AMRN) received a U. S. patent for its heart medication AMR-101.

Analysts cited Kinross Gold's (NYSE: KGC) low stock price for naming it an attractive acquisition target.

On the downside

Investors locked in profits on Frontline (NYSE: FRO), whose stock price surged yesterday on news that Saudi Arabia would increase oil sales to the United States.

Profit taking sank shares of Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU), whose stock price climbed last week on speculation that Warren Buffet was interested in acquiring shares in a coal company.

CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets analyst Mark Heller downgraded Veeco Instruments (Nasdaq: VECO) to a Sell rating and cut his full year earnings guidance to $1 per share from $1.35 per share.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 7 to 3 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks dropped 8 points to 829.

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