Markets Fall As Factory Orders Drop

A drop in April factory orders weighed the markets down during the midday with the Dow falling 59 points to 12,231. Nasdaq slipped 3 points to 2766.

On the upside

Robert W. Baird analyst Quintin Lai upgraded Affymetrix (Nasdaq: AFFX) to an Outperform rating after the company named life sciences industry veteran Frank Witney to the position of president and chief executive.

Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD) reported a 1.3% increase in May same store sales.

MicroVision (Nasdaq: MVIS) announced that its SHOWWX+ laser pico projector for the iPod, iPhone and iPad will be offered in Apple online stores in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

On the downside

Massey Energy (NYSE: MEE) shareholders approved the sale of the coal miner to Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE: ANR) for $7.1 billion.

Standard & Poor's Ratings Service and Moody's Investors Service placed Sealed Air (NYSE: SEE) on watch for a possible downgrade.

Vera Bradley (Nasdaq: VRA) blamed higher expenses and income taxes for lower first quarter earnings.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by nearly 7 to 5 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 3 points to 818.

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