The markets opened sharply lower as a weak service sector report reinforced worries that the economy may be slipping into a recession. The Dow lost 189 points to 12,445 while Nasdaq dropped 27 points to 2355.
On the upside
Whirlpool (NYSE: WHR) posted higher 4th quarter profits that beat estimates. Global demand for its products helped to offset weak domestic sales in the U.S.
Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) launched a new line of high-end iPhones featuring more memory and new mapping and media software to watch movies.
Information technology services provider Computer Sciences (NYSE: CSC) reported higher 3rd quarter earnings citing strong demand for its services in the U.S. and Europe.
On the downside
Shares of microchip maker Sirf Technology Holdings (Nasdaq: SIRF) tumbled after the company posted lower profits and slashed its 1st quarter guidance. Analysts promptly downgraded the stock.
Diversified manufacturer Tyco International (NYSE: TYC) posted lower earnings and revenues that beat estimates. Nonetheless, its shares edged lower along with other blue chip companies.
Shares of Yum Brands (NYSE: YUM) fell after the operator of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut restaurant posted slightly lower profits with sales in China and its international operations offsetting higher costs.
In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks fell 8 points to 714.