December 30, 2010 at 09:43 AM EST
Mortgage Rates Rise, Markets Open Lower

Jobless claims tumbled to its lowest level in more than two years but mortgage rates rose to a seven month high. The markets opened lower with the Dow slipping 7 points to 11,577 while Nasdaq eased a point to 2665.

On the upside

Shares of Qiao Xing Universal Resources (Nasdaq: XING) continued soaring after the mining company posted pictures of its recently acquired lead-zinc-copper mine in Inner Mongolia and announced the launch of a new company website in January.

The Daily Mail reported that BHP Billiton will make an all cash $90 per share offer to acquire Andarko Petroleum (NYSE: APC).

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) and Barclay's (NYSE: BCS) withdrew from a lawsuit filed in May 2009 by eighteen of the largest global financial institutions against MBIA (NYSE: MBI).

On the downside

Sonus Networks' (Nasdaq: SONS) executive vice president and chief operating officer resigned effective immediately.

Mizuho Financial Group (Nasdaq: MFG) will pay approximately $368 million to acquire preferred shares of Orient from Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (NYSE: KKR).

Holiday sales at eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) did not grow as much as rival online retailers such as Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN).

In the broad market, declining issues edged out advancers by a slim margin on the NYSE while advancers outpaced decliners by nearly 10 to 9 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a point to 791.

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