Factory Order Rise Less Than Expected, Markets Lower

February factory orders rose less than expected to weigh the markets down during the midday with the Dow losing 44 points to 13,220. Nasdaq slipped 3 points to 3116.

On the upside

Conn's (Nasdaq: CONN) reversed year ago losses to post a better than expected profit for the fourth quarter and lifted its guidance for the full year 2013.

EnteroMedics (Nasdaq: ETRM) made its first commercial shipment of the Maestro Rechargeable System to Australia and announced a multi-year deal to distribute the system to Gulf Coast Countries including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

3D Systems (NYSE: DDD) will replace Taleo (Nasdaq: TLEO) on Standard & Poor's SmallCap 600 Index after market close on Thursday, April 5.

On the downside

Forbes warned that Qihoo 360 Technology's (NYSE: QIHU) financials may face stringent audit for its first quarter results.

Sales of fuel efficient cars boosted March auto sales for General Motors (NYSE: GM) but the stock price fell.

Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE: ANR) chief executive Kevin Crutchfield received a 2011 compensation package worth more than $6.7 million.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped 3 points to 837.

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