The markets closed near the flatline despite record oil prices as new home construction posted a surprise gain in April. The Dow slipped 6 points to 12,987 while Nasdaq lost 5 points to 2529.
On the upside
Drybulk shipping rates surged to a record high over speculation that China's devastating earthquake will lead to increased imports of agricultural products and construction materials to lift shares of Excel Maritime Carriers (NYSE: EXM) higher.
Rowan Companies (NYSE: RDC) declared the payment of a quarterly dividend on June 13 in the amount of 10 cents per common share to shareholders of record May 30.
Citi Investment Research analyst Alexander Hacking reiterated his Buy rating for Ternium SA (NYSE: TX) saying that steel prices will rise.
On the downside
The United Steekworkers demanded that Esmark (Nasdaq: ESMK) reject a $670 million acquisition offer from Indian company Essar Steel Holdings.
Flagstar Bancorp (NYSE: FBC) will sell equity stakes in the company at a discount in order to raise $100 million.
Allied Capital (NYSE: ALD) raised $175 million through the sale of 9 million shares of common stock.
In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 4 on the NYSE and by more than 9 to 7 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 2 points to 741.