Markets Tumble As Existing Home Sales Disappoint

Existing home sales rose less than expected in December to send the markets tumbling to a sharply lower close with the Dow plummeting 175 points to 16,197. Nasdaq fell 24 points to 4218. 

On the upside 

Sterne Agee upgraded Agnico Eagle Mines (NYSE: AEM) from a Neutral rating to a Buy rating.

Cobalt International Energy (NYSE: CIE) successfully drilled a well in the Syn-rift interval in the Bicular #1A Pre-salt offshore Angola.

Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP) reported higher fourth quarter earnings and revenue that beat analyst expectations.

On the downside

Investors locked in profits on Luna Innovations (Nasdaq: LUNA). 

Zhone Technologies (Nasdaq: ZHNE) reported higher fourth quarter earnings and revenue but full year results fell short of expectations.

Hill-Rom Holdings (NYSE: HRC) reported sharply lower first quarter earnings that missed analyst expectations by a wide margin prompting the company to cut its full year guidance.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by a margin of nearly 7 to 3 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 dropped 16 points to 1828. Bitcoin added $8.77 or 0.93% to $944.77.

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