Possible European Nation Downgrades Sends Markets Plunging

The markets plunged to close sharply lower with the Dow plummeting 162 points to 12,021 over possible downgrades of European nations by Moody's. Nasdaq tumbled 34 points to 2612.

On the upside

Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE: EW) affirmed its 2011 guidance on Friday.

The Bedford Report issued an equity report on Dex One (NYSE: DEXO).

Martin Marietta's (NYSE: MLM) hostile bid for Vulcan Materials (NYSE: VMC) lifted shares of rival construction materials company Texas Industries (NYSE: TXI).

On the downside

Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro reminded investors that 11 days remained before lead plaintiff deadline in a class-action lawsuit against Central European Distribution (Nasdaq: CEDC).

BPZ Resources (NYSE: BPZ) director Gary Gordon sold 50,000 shares of company stock last week.

Shares of National Bank of Greece (NYSE: NBG) fell after Moody's Investors Service announced that the credit ratings of all European nations would be reviewed.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 3 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks dropped 12 points to 733.

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