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Markets Mixed After Fitch Warns Six Nations Of Possible Downgrade

The markets traded mixed during the midday with the Dow losing 6 points to 11,862 after Fitch affirmed France's credit rating but warned six European nations that they may be downgraded. Nasdaq gained 15 point to 2556.

On the upside

Valeant Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: VRX) made a $314 million hostile bid for Ista Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ISTA).

Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: VRTX) named Jeffrey Leiden to replace Matthew Emmens as chief executive after Emmens retires on February 1, 2012.

Quiksilver (NYSE: ZQK) swung to a profit for the fourth quarter as revenue climbed to top analyst estimates.

On the downside

Accenture (NYSE: ACN) reported higher first quarter earnings that topped analyst estimates but the management consulting firm forecast 2012 results below expectations.

StemCells (Nasdaq: STEM) will sell 8 million units and 8 million warrants to raise up to $20 million.

Shares of InterMune (Nasdaq: ITMN) continued falling after a German regulatory agency said yesterday that the biopharmaceutical's lung disease treatment Esbriet provided no additional benefits to patients.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 7 to 5 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 4 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose 4 points to 720.

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