Drop In Housing Starts Weighs Down Markets

A greater than expected drop in January housing starts weighed the markets down during the midday with the Dow slipping 13 points to 14,021. Nasdaq fell 17 points to 3196.

On the upside

Acquisition rumors lifted shares of Joy Global (NYSE: JOY).

Susquehanna upgraded Radian Group (NYSE: RDN) from a Neutral rating to a Positive rating.

Allscripts Healthcare (Nasdaq: MDRX) reported lower fourth quarter revenue and earnings that fell short of expectations but shares of the digital medical records solutions company rose.

On the downside

Garmin (Nasdaq: GRMN) disappointed with lower fourth quarter earnings and revenue that missed analyst estimates and forecast 2013 results below expectations.

Owens Corning (NYSE: OC) fell to a larger than expected loss for the fourth quarter.

Toll Brothers (NYSE: TOL) reversed year ago losses to post a profit for the first quarter but the results fell short of expectations.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 index lost 6 points to 1524.

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