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Lower open on consumer spending

The markets opened lower with the Dow falling 40 points to 20,688 as consumer spending edged up a mere 0.1% in February. Nasdaq slipped 2 points to 5,911.

On the upside

The Food and Drug Administration granted Fast Track designation to Akari Therapeutics' (Nasdaq: AKTX) paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria treatment Coversin.

BlackBerry (Nasdaq: BBRY) narrowed fourth quarter losses more than expected.

FMC (NYSE: FMC) will acquire the portion of DuPont's (NYSE: DD) Crop Protection business that it must divest in order to move forward with its proposed merger with The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW).

On the downside

BioLineRx (Nasdaq: BLRX) priced its public offering of approximately 29.4 million American Depositary Shares at the discounted price of $0.85 per ADS.

Investors locked in profits on Athersys (Nasdaq: ATHX).

Cytosorbents (Nasdaq: CTSO) priced its public offering of more than 2.22 million common shares at the discounted price of $4.50 per share.

In the broad market, advancing issues barely edged out decliners by a slim margin on the NYSE while decliners outpaced advancers by more than 7 to 5 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 index slipped 2 points to 2,365. Bitcoin gained $6 to $1041.

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