The markets traded flat during the midday with the Dow adding 3 points to 13,008 as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies before Congress today and tomorrow. Nasdaq eased a fraction to 2985.
On the upside
Nektar Therapeutics (Nasdaq: NKTR) will sell the future royalties for its Crohn's disease treatment Cimzia and its chronic kidney disease medication Mircera for $124 million.
Collective Brands (NYSE: PSS) widened fourth quarter losses but the results were better than expected.
On the downside
First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR) blamed a significant accounting charge for falling to an unexpected loss for the fourth quarter and cut its revenue outlook for 2012.
The Transportation Department delayed rules that required rearview video cameras in new cars weighing down shares of auto mirror maker Gentex (Nasdaq: GNTX).
Speculation that Argentina may nationalize YPF (NYSE: YPF) sank shares of the oil and gas company.
In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 10 to 9 on the NYSE and by 5 to 3 to on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped 3 points to 819.