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January 08, 2008 at 16:17 PM EST
Closing Bell Report

A drop in pending home sales sparked recessionary fears sending the markets plummeting to a sharply lower close with the Dow skidding 238 points to 12,589. Nasdaq plunged 59 points to 2441.

On the upside

Incyte (Nasdaq: INCY) CEO Dr. Paul Friedman said that the company will present positive trial data for the drug INCY18424 for treating psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and myelofibrosis.

Record gold prices prompted CIBC World Markets analyst Barry Cooper to upgrade Yamana Gold (NYSE: AUY).

Jefferies & Co. analyst Douglas M. Lane upgraded Helen of Troy (Nasdaq: HELE) citing the recent decline in the stock price.

On the downside

Rising oil prices weighed down shares of UAL (Nasdaq: UAUA).

While Supervalu (NYSE: SVU) reported higher third quarter earnings, sales dropped and the grocery chain lowered its full year outlook prompting a downgrade.

As pending home sales fell, Morgan Stanley lowered its profit outlook for bond insurer MBIA (NYSE: MBI).

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plummeted 19 points to 705.

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