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Markets Open Flat As Services Sector Posts Modest Gain

The markets opened flat with the Dow slipping 3 points to 10,293 while Nasdaq added a fraction to 2190. The nation's services sector posted a modest gain in January.

On the upside

Home Diagnostics (Nasdaq: HDIX) will be acquired by Japanese medical device maker Nipro for approximately $215 million.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Labopharm's (Nasdaq: DDSS) once-a-day antidepressant Oleptro Extended Release Tablets.

Fourth quarter earnings for Acme Packet (Nasdaq: APKT) more than doubled due to its acquisition of Covergence last year.

On the downside

Exide Technologies (Nasdaq: XIDE) reported lower third quarter earnings as sales fell.

VeriSign (Nasdaq: VRSN) reported lower fourth quarter income that fell short of estimates.

Fourth quarter earnings for Western Union (NYSE: WU) slipped.

In the broad market, declining issues edged out advancers by a margin of more than 10 to 9 on the NYSE while advancers outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 7 to 5 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a point to 615.

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