Surprising Drop In Confidence Weighs On Markets

A surprisingly sharp drop in consumer confidence in June sent the markets lower during the midday with the Dow losing 55 points to 9053. Nasdaq slipped 4 points to 1963.

On the upside

Ariad Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ARIA) reported positive mid-stage test results for its breast cancer drug ridaforolimus.

Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) announced that it will acquire Virgin Mobile (NYSE: VM) for approximately $483 million.

AVI BioPharma (Nasdaq: AVII) and Action Duchenne teamed to support continued development of AVI's Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy treatment.

On the downside

Anixter (NYSE: AXE) disappointed by swinging to a second quarter loss as revenue fell to miss estimates.

Second quarter earnings for Paccar (Nasdaq: PCAR) plummeted as revenue slumped amidst the economic downturn.

Manitowoc (NYSE: MTW) blamed charges for swinging to a second quarter loss.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks fell 3 points to 547.

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