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Markets Fall As Manufacturing Activity Contracts

A contraction of June manufacturing activity in the United States weighed the markets down during the midday with the Dow losing 37 points to 12,842. Nasdaq added 3 points to 2938.

On the upside

MEMC Electronic Materials (NYSE: WFR) sold four solar projects in Europe during the second quarter.

Rumors that Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) founder Richard Schulze will acquire the company lifted shares of the electronic retailer.

ATP Oil & Gas (Nasdaq: ATPG) discovered natural gas at the Shimshon well off the coast of Israel.

On the downside

Construction spending rose more than expected in May but shares of Hovnanian Enterprises (NYSE: HOV) fell.

Barclay's Capital analyst Mark May downgraded OpenTable (Nasdaq: OPEN) to Equal Weight and lowered his price target on the online restaurant reservation service to $43 from $50.

Mad Money's Jim Cramer told viewers on Friday that he was bearish on Navistar International (NYSE: NAV).

In the broad market, advancing outpaced decliners by a margin of 4 to 3 on the NYSE while decliners edged out advancers by a slim margin on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a fraction to 798.

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