September 2009 Archives

Shrinking Economy Weighs Down Markets

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The markets closed lower with the Dow losing 29 points to 9712 as the nation's economy shrank in the second quarter.  Nasdaq eased a point to 2122.

On the upside 

Axcelis Technologies (Nasdaq: ACLS) introduced an upgrade for its high energy ion implanter product line.

Petrobas Energia (NYSE: PZE) is completing reorganization plans.

Nike (NYSE: NKE) reported higher first quarter earnings even as revenue slipped.

On the downside

First Industrial Realty Trust (NYSE: FR) priced its public offering of 12.5 million common shares at $5.25 per share.

Blockbuster (NYSE: BBI) tapped its clients to create a Top 100 Most Loved Movies list but the stock price fell.

Dyax (Nasdaq: DYAX) is offering 5.5 million common shares to raise capital.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 5 to 4 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks dropped 6 points to 604.

The markets recovered to post a modest gain during the midday with the Dow adding 14 points to 9756 after Wal-Mart announced that it will sell over 100 toys for $10 during the holiday shopping season.  Nasdaq rose 8 points to 2132.

On the upside 

Tianwei New Energy Holdings will receive a majority stake in Hoku Scientific (Nasdaq: HOKU) for financing a polysilicon production facility.

AT&T (NYSE: T) will sell TerreStar's (Nasdaq: TSTR) satellite smart phone.

Ameriprise Financial (NYSE: AMP) will acquire Bank of America's (NYSE: BAC) Columbia Management for approximately $1 billion.

On the downside

Noble Financial downgraded Frontier Financial (Nasdaq: FTBK).

Worthington Industries (NYSE: WOR) reported sharply lower first quarter earnings.

Colonial Properties Trust (NYSE: CLP) will offer 9 million shares of common stock.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on both the NYSE and Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks fell 8 points to 602.

The U.S. economy fell at 0.7% annual pace in the 2nd quarter, a reading that indicated businesses and consumers were not cutting back as much as expected.  Job losses fell, but job creation remained elusive.  The Dow fell 67 points to 9674 while Nasdaq gave up 7 points to 2116.

On the upside 

Ameriprise Financial (NYSE: AMP) offered to pay about $1 billion in cash to acquire Columbia Management, the long-term asset management operations from Bank of America (NYSE: BAC).

Discovery Laboratories (Nasdaq: DSCO) received an FDA nod to proceed with studies to treat infant respiratory problems.

On the downside

Commercial lender CIT Group (NYSE: CIT) may give up control of the company to bondholders in order to reduce its $30 billion debt load.

Renesola (NYSE: SOL) issue 15.5 million in American depositary shares.  The China-based company manufactures solar products.

Iconix Brand Group (Nasdaq: ICON) trimmed its full-year outlook due to a possible performance hit from transitioning its Rocawear women's license to a new licensee.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE: DRI), which operates Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurant chains, posted higher profits, but overall sales edged lower.  The company also lowered its earnings outlook.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on both the NYSE and Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks fell 8 points to 602.

Consumer confidence dropped more than expected to send the markets down to a lower close with the Dow falling 47 points to 9742. Nasdaq lost 6 points to 2124.

On the upside 

Stifel Nicolaus analyst Greg Mason upgraded MCG Capital (Nasdaq: MCGC) saying that the company should be able to reinstate its dividend soon.

Robert W. Baird analyst David Leiker upgraded Modine Manufacturing (NYSE: MOD) saying that the stock price has the potential to quadruple.

Piper Jaffray said that market conditions are improving for Moody's (NYSE: MCO) and expects third quarter earnings to rise.

On the downside

Optimus will invest $10 million in VeriChip (Nasdaq: CHIP).

pSivida (Nasdaq: PSDV) reported upbeat interim results from its Phase III clinical study of its chronic back of the eye disease treatment but the stock price fell.

Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) appointed Adobe chief executive Shantanu Narayen to its board to replace the departing Sallie Krawcheck. 

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 10 to 9 the NYSE and and by 7 to 5 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 2 points to 613.

A disappointing drop in consumer confidence weighed down the markets during the midday with the Dow losing 10 points to 9778. Nasdaq eased 2 points to 2128.

On the upside 

Astrotech (Nasdaq: ASTC) swung to a fourth quarter profit and announced that it was exploring strategic options to increase shareholder value including the possible sale of the company.

Lenders to YRC Worldwide (Nasdaq: YRCW) amended their agreement with the transportation services company to allow the company more leeway.

Gannett (NYSE: GCI) forecast third quarter results ahead of analyst estimates.

On the downside

Silicon Image (Nasdaq: SIMG) lowered its third quarter revenue guidance and announced the resignation of chief executive Steve Tirado.

USEC (NYSE: USU) blamed delays by the Energy Department in reviewing its loan application for the loss of 1,000 jobs at a uranium enrichment plant in Ohio.

Solta Medical (NYSE: FR) blamed delays to two new products for forecasting disappointing third quarter results. 

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 10 to 9 the NYSE and while decliners edged out advancers by more than 10 to 9 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks held steady at 613.

Stocks Edge Higher as Home Prices Rise

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The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index of 20 major cities rose in July to beat expectations.  Investors were also awaiting the September reading of the consumer confidence index.  The Dow added 3 points to 9791 while Nasdaq held steady at 2130.

On the upside 

Drugstore operator Walgreen (NYSE: WAG) posted higher revenues and lower profits that beat forecast.  Shares of rival CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS) also rose.

Gannett (NYSE: GCI) raised its outlook for the 3rd quarter due to cost controls.

An analyst initiated coverage of Diedrich Coffee (Nasdaq: DDRX) with a buy recommendation.

On the downside

Sequenom (Nasdaq: SQNM) fired its CEO and a group of executives as an investigation into the mishandling of results for its Down syndrome blood test unfolded.

Recon Technology (Nasdaq: RCON) posted higher revenues and earnings, but investors took profits on the China-based computer software and hardware company for the energy industry.

First Industrial Realty Trust (NYSE: FR) offered 12.5 million new shares and announced job cuts. 

In the broad market, advancing issues were even with decliners on both the NYSE and Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks held steady at 613.

Markets Close Higher Over M&A Activity

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Investors embraced merger and acquisition activity to lift the markets to a higher close with the Dow soaring 124 points to 9789.  Nasdaq surged 39 points to 2130.

On the upside 

Hartford Financial (NYSE: HIG) launched a new campaign to promote the living benefits of a life insurance policy.

Belo (NYSE: BLC) named Robert M. Simone to the position of president and general manager of its television stations in Tucson.

Chief financial officer of Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX) Troy Alstead will ring the opening bell of Nasdaq to celebrate the introduction of Starbucks' VIA Ready Brew.

Goldman Sachs lifted its price target on Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM).

Two of Gander Mountain's (Nasdaq: GMTN) largest shareholders will take the company private.

On the downside

Goldman Sachs analyst Sal Tharani removed Steel Dynamics (Nasdaq: STLD) from his Conviction Buy List.

 

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 7 to 2 on the NYSE and by a margin of 3 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 14 points to 613.

Corporate consolidations sparked a buying trend to lift the markets sharply higher during the midday with the Dow surging 155 points to 9820.  The tech-heavy Nasdaq junped 48 points to 2138.

On the upside 

Skymark Research initiated coverage of Luna Innovations (Nasdaq: LUNA).

Compton Petroleum (NYSE: CMZ) will sell various overriding royalties in order to reduce its debt.

Private equity firm American Securities will acquire GenTek (Nasdaq: GETI) in a deal valued at approximately $673 million.

Barclays analyst Jeff Kvaal upgraded Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO).

On the downside

Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: KERX) will sell 8 million common shares through a registered direct offering.

Celsion (Nasdaq: CLSN) will raise $7.1 million through the sale of up to 3 million shares.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks leaped 15 points to 614.

A number of acquisition announcements boosted the markets with the Dow climbing 77 points to 9742.  The tech-heavy Nasdaq surged an even more robust 25 points to 2116.  Meanwhile, oil prices fell below the $66 a barrel mark.

On the upside 

Affiliated Computer Services (NYSE: ACS) received a $6.4 billion cash and stock offer from Xerox (NYSE: XRX) expanding the copier company's operations into data center management.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) offered about $6.6 billion in cash to buy the drug business from Belgium-based Solvay.

Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) announced that it has surpassed 2 billion in application downloads for its iPhone mobile device.

Aspect Medical systems (Nasdaq: ASPM) received an all-stock offer from Covidien (NYSE: COV) to add brain monitoring devices to its stable of medical products.

On the downside

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) bought an 18% stake in Belgium-based Curcell in a flu development vaccine deal.

Shares of Research in Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) continued to fall after last week's disappointing forecast.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose 7 points to 606.

Rising oil prices along with a sharp drop in durable goods orders sent the markets down to a lower close with the Dow losing 42 points to 9665. Nasdaq fell 16 points to 2090.

On the upside 

BMO Nesbit Burns analyst Brian Piccioni lifted his price target for Ballard Power Systems(Nasdaq: BLDP).

Frontier Financail (Nasdaq: FTBK) will continue to participate in the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's voluntary Transaction Account Guarantee program.

Shares of Cytokinetics (Nasdaq: CYTK) rose on rumors that Amgen (Nasdaq: AMGN) may acquire the company.

On the downside

Shares of Chinese online video game company Shanda Games (Nasdaq: GAME) tumbled on its first day of trading.

Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection ordered Cabot Oil and Gas (Nasdaq: COG) to discontinue its "fracking" drilling process in Susquehanna County.

A disappointingly small gain in new home sales weighed down shares of Ryland Group (NYSE: RYL).

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 5 to 4 on the NYSE and by more than 9 to 7 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped 2 points to 598.

A disappointingly modest increase in new home sale sent the markets lower during the midday with the Dow falling 39 points to 9668. Nasdaq dropped 16 points to 2091.

On the upside 

J. P. Morgan initiated coverage of Biovail (NYSE: BVF) with an Overweight rating.

Compton Petroleum (NYSE: CMZ) announced a delay to the closing of its public offering.

Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. analyst Chris Brendler ugraded AmeriCredit (NYSE: ACF) citing improving market conditions.

On the downside

United Community Banks (Nasdaq: UCBI) priced its offering of 38.7 million shares at $5 per share.

Superior Well Services (Nasdaq: SWSI) amended the terms of its credit agreement to reduce its borrowing capacity.

KB Home (NYSE: KBH) reported a wider than expected loss for the third quarter.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 5 to 3 on both the NYSE and Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks fell 4 points to 596.

The markets opened lower as investors mulled over the latest report on durable goods orders which unexpectedly fell in August.   The Dow lost 6 points to 9701 while the tech-laden Nasdaq dropped a steeper 8 points to 2099.

On the upside 

Sporting goods retailer The Finish Line (Nasdaq: FINL) posted lower revenues and a slim quarterly loss.

An analyst upgraded Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC).  The company sells recreational boats and exercise equipment.

Unilever offered $1.88 billion to buy several product lines from Sara Lee (NYSE: SLE).

On the downside

Shares of Research in Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) fell sharply after the maker of the popular Blackberry mobile devices posted higher revenues and earnings, but offered a cautious outlook.

Hewlett Packard (NYSE: HPQ) offered a 2010 forecast with revenue targets that were slightly lower and earnings that were higher.

Pennsylvania-based Metro Bancorp (Nasdaq: METR) offered 6.2 milion shares at $12 apiece.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 5 to 4 on both the NYSE and Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost a fraction to 601.

A disappointing drop in existing home sales sent the markets down to a lower close with the Dow dropping 41 points to 9707. Nasdaq fell 23 points to 2107.

On the upside 

Zhongpin (Nasdaq: HOGS) was awarded Most Valuable Brand in China's Meat Industrty 2009 and will receive approximately $5.5 million in Chinese government subsidies .

OraSure Technologies (Nasdaq: OSUR) will provide Premier's more than 2,200 member hospitals with its OraQuick ADVANCE test to detect antibodies to HIV-1 and HIV-2.

Meritage Homes (NYSE: MTH) has acquired 550 lots in the first six months of the year at sharply discounted prices.

On the downside

Hercules Offshore (Nasdaq: HERO) offered a disappointing outlook for the third quarter.

Nasdaq warned Frontier Financial (Nasdaq: FTBK) that it was out of compliance because its stock price fell below $1 per share for thirty days in a row.

Deutsche Securities downgraded Domtar (NYSE: UFS).

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plunged 11 points to 601.

Drop In Home Sales Weighs Down Markets

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Home sales unexpectedly fell in August to weigh down the markets during the midday with the Dow losing 37 points to 9711. Nasdaq tumbled 26 points to 2105.

On the upside 

Helicos BioSciences (Nasdaq: HLCS) announced that it sequenced single molecules of RNA with its True Single Molecule Sequencing technology.

Shares of A123 (Nasdaq: AONE) surged on its first trading day.

Second quarter earnings surged for American Greetings (NYSE: AM) as expenses fell.

On the downside

The U. S. Chemical Safety Board reported that Imperial Sugar (Nasdaq: IPSU) ignored dangers for decades leading to an explosion last year that killed 14 people.

Fourth quarter earnings for Copart (Nasdaq: CPRT) fell as sales dropped.

Nomura Holdings (NYSE: NMR) will issue new shares to raise approximately $5.65 billion.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 7 to 2 on the NYSE and by a margin of more than 4 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks tumbled 13 points to 600.

The markets opened higher after 1st time unemployment claims for the week fell unexpectedly.  While job growth remained elusive, investors were encouraged by the trend.  Meanwhile, oil prices remained below $69 a barrel as U.S. crude inventories grew.  The Dow gained 31 points to 9780 while Nasdaq added 2 points to 2133.

On the upside 

Shares of Vical (Nasdaq: VICL) gained after the company reported promising results for its cancer vaccine.

Shares of Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) rose sharply after the Linux software distributor posted higher revenues and profits that beat estimates.

Texas Industries (NYSE: TXI) posted an unexpected quarterly profit.  The company produces cement in Texas and California.

On the downside

Drugstore operator Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD) posted a smaller quarterly loss, but its outlook for the rest of the year remained weak.

Shares of Chelsea Therapeutics (Nasdaq: CHTP) tumbled after the company reported disappointing results for its drug candidate that treats dizziness.

Conexant Systems (Nasdaq: CNXT) offered 7 million shares .  The company makes a number of semiconductor and networking devices.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a narrow margin on the NYSE, but were edged out by a slim margin on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks held steady at 613.

Record credit card defaults weighed down the markets to a lower close with the Dow tumbling 81 points to 9748.  Nasdaq dropped 14 points to 2131.

On the upside 

Ascent Solar Technologies (Nasdaq: ASTI) will supply TurtleEnergy with solar cells in a multiyear deal.

Rodman & Renshaw initiated coverage of Enzo Biochem (NYSE: ENZ) with a Market Outperform rating.

Speculation that Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) may acquire Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS) lifted shares of the video game publisher.

On the downside

Shares of flavored tobacco maker Star Scientific (Nasdaq: STSI) fell after the Food and Drug Administration banned flavored cigarettes.

Boenning & Scattergood analyst William Sutherland downgraded NutriSystem (Nasdaq: NTRI) citing recent gains in the company stock price.

Gaylord Entertainment (NYSE: GET) will offer 5 million shares of common stock.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks fell 7 points to 613.

The markets traded modestly higher at midday with the Dow gaining 17 points to 9847 ahead of the Federal Reserve's interest rate decision.  Nasdaq added 5 points to 2152.

On the upside 

Novartis made a $500,000 milestone payment to Opexa Therapeutics (NYSE: OPXA).

YRC (Nasdaq: YRCW) launched its online tool Service Day Calculator that offers clients greater shipment flexibility.

First quarter earnings for AAR (NYSE: AIR) topped estimates prompting an upgrade.

On the downside

ATP Oil & Gas (Nasdaq: ATPG) will offer 5.3 million common shares.

Shares of Corinthian College (Nasdaq: COCO) dropped after Congress announced hearings to scrutinize the for-profit .

Calpine (Nasdaq: TLAB) said that major shareholder Harbinger Capital Partners will sell 20 million of its shares in the company.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 10 to 9 on both the NYSE and Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks held steady at 620.

Investors were cautiously optimistic ahead of a Federal Reserve decision on interest rates.  The Dow added 5 points to 9835.  Nasdaq rose 5 points to 2151.

On the upside 

General Mills (NYSE: GIS) posted higher profits due to strong demand for its packaged foods and lower commodity prices.

Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: KERX) posted positive results for its drug candidate to treat dialysis patients.

Ascent Solar Technologies (Nasdaq: ASTI) signed a multi-year agreement to supply solar modules.

On the downside

U.S. Airways (NYSE: LCC) and AMR Corporation (NYSE: AMR) issued new notes in order to raise capital.

Incyte Corporation (Nasdaq: INCY) offered stock and debt to raise money to develop drugs for the treatment of cancer and diabetes.

An analyst downgraded Tellabs (Nasdaq: TLAB), a maker of telecommunications networking equipment.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a slim margin on both the NYSE and Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks held steady at 620.

A weakening dollar lifted commodities as well as the markets to a higher close with the Dow rising 51 points to 9829 .  Nasdaq gained 8 points to 2146.

On the upside 

Oclaro (Nasdaq: OCLR) boosted its first quarter revenue guidance.

Quicksilver Resources (NYSE: KWK) announced upbeat production results from its first completed Horn River Basin well prompting an analyst upgrade.

Shares of National Coal (Nasdaq: NCOC) climbed after an analyst said that energy prices will rise this winter.

On the downside

Lime Energy (Nasdaq: LIME) priced its offering of 5 million common shares at $5.50 per share.

Nasdaq issued China Cablecom Holdings (Nasdaq: CABL) a Deficiency Letter because its shares traded below $1.00 per share in the past 30 business days.

Shares of Hansen Medical (NYSE: RAD) fell after a report said that pricing pressure of drug eluting stents will lower the worldwide market.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by a margin of more than 9 to 7 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 4 points to 620.

Markets Advance As Fed Meets

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The markets advanced during the midday with the Dow gaining 44 points to 9823 as commodities rose as the Federal Reserve met to discuss interest rates.  Nasdaq added 7 points to 2145.

On the upside 

German researchers reported that cancer patients receiving heat treatment in addition to chemotherapy fared better. BSD Medical (Nasdaq: BSDM), maker of heat treatment system used in the study, stock soared.

Dana Holding (NYSE: DAN) will offer 27 million common shares to raise approximately $178.3 million.

Vimpelcom (NYSE: VIP) will repurchase up to $320 million worth of its bonds.

On the downside

A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee will review CombinatoRx's (Nasdaq: CRXX) pain treatment Exalgo.

American Airlines parent AMR (NYSE: AMR) will offer 30 million shares of common stock and $250 million in convertible senior notes.

Raymond James analyst John Ransom downgraded Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD) saying that second quarter earnings will disappoint.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by a margin of 7 to 5 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose 4 points to 620.

Stocks Open Higher Ahead of Fed Meeting

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Investors were in the buying mood ahead of a Federal Reserve policy meeting.  Meanwhile, oil prices rose while the U.S. dollar dropped to a 1-year low against the euro.  The Dow rose 18 points to 9797.  Nasdaq rose again up 7 points to 2145.

On the upside 

Car dealership operator Carmax (NYSE: KMX) posted higher 2nd quarter revenues and profits due to higher used car sales.

Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL) announced lower quarterly profits as revenues fell, but raised the outlook for booking volume of cruises.

Shares of Verichip (Nasdaq: CHIP) continued to rally after the company secured an exclusive  license to patents to track biological viruses.

On the downside

ConAgra Foods (NYSE: CAG) posted lower 1st quarter revenues and profits.

Diedrich Coffee (Nasdaq: DDRX) announced higher 4th quarter revenues and a profit.  Investors took profit following a powerful summer rally lifting coffee companies.

An analyst downgraded Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (NYSE: GAP).

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 4 points to 620.

Technology stocks got a boost from Dell's acquisition of Perot Systems while blue chips slipped with the Dow losing 41 points to 9778. Nasdaq gained 5 points to 2138.

On the upside 

In an article last week, The Associated Press under reported the amount of cash and cash equivalents that Palm (Nasdaq: PALM) holds by approximately $100 million.

Nektar Therapeutics (Nasdaq: NKTR) licensed two pain medications to AstraZeneca for approximately $1.12 billion.

US Airways (NYSE: LCC) will install seats that lie flat in its business class.

On the downside

Questor Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: QCOR) warned that sales of its infantile spasm treatment Acthar will be lower in the third quarter.

Old National Bancorp (NYSE: ONB) will raise approximately $150 million through the offering of common shares.

First Busey (NYSE: BUSE) warned that it may breach two of its financial covenants and blamed higher loan loss provisions for a third quarter loss.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by a margin of more than 10 to 9 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks eased a point to 615.

Markets Tread Water At Midday

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The markets continued to trade lower during the midday with the Dow falling 45 points to 9774. Nasdaq added a point to 2133.

On the upside 

Aeterna Zentaris (Nasdaq: AEZS) reported upbeat results from a Phase 1 clinical study of its cancer treatment AEZS-112.

Investors are optimistic that the government will restructure American International Group's (Nasdaq: AIG) bailout package.

Raymond James analyst Budd Bugatch affirmed his Strong Buy rating for Pier 1 Imports (NYSE: PIR).

On the downside

Nasdaq sent Repros Therapeutics (Nasdaq: RPRX) a second notice of delisting.

Caris & Co. analyst Linda Bolton Weiser downgraded Sally Beauty Holdings (NYSE: SBH).

Kaufman Bros. downgraded American Superconductor (NYSE: AMSC).

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 8 to 3 on the NYSE and by a margin of more than 4 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 3 points to 613.

The markets opened lower following a sell-off in overseas stocks in overnight trading.  Oil prices fell below $71 a barrel.  The Dow lost 59 points to 9760 while Nasdaq gave up 5 points to 2127.

On the upside 

Shares of Perot Systems (NYSE: PER) soared after Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) offered $3.9 billion in cash to buy the information technology services company.

VeriChip Corporation (Nasdaq: CHIP) locked down an exclusive license to two patents to track viruses.

An analyst upgraded Zimmer Holdings (NYSE: ZMH), a maker of bone and dental implants and equipment.

On the downside

Lennar (NYSE: LEN) posted a wider 3rd quarter loss on lower revenues.  The Florida-based home builder wrote down the value of land and unsold homes.

Delta Petroleum (Nasdaq: DPTR) revealed that gas volumes at its Columbia River Basin site may be substantially below expectations.

Investors sold off on the fertilizer sector.  Shares of Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (NYSE: POT) and The Mosaic Company (NYSE: MOS) fell sharply.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks fell 4 points to 613.

Upgrades Lift Markets Higher

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The markets closed modestly higher with the Dow rising 36 points to 9820 on this quadruple witching day after analysts upgraded a number of stocks. Nasdaq added 6 points to 2132.

On the upside 

SXC Health Solutions (Nasdaq: SXCI) priced its offering of 4.5 million shares of common stock at $41.50 per share.

Morgan Stanley analyst Evan Callo initiated coverage of InterOil (Nasdaq: IOC) with an Overweight rating after the company announced that its Antelope-2 natural gas reservoir may be much larger than originally estimated.

Pier 1 Imports (NYSE: PIR) narrowed first quarter losses as the company lowered expenses and expects sales trends to improve ahead of the holiday shopping season.

On the downside

CL King analyst Scott Krasik downgraded Wolverine World Wide (NYSE: WWW) citing recent gains in the stock price.

Collins Stewart downgraded Sunstone Hotel (NYSE: SHO) after the company stopped mortgage payments on a second property and returned the property to the bank.

Eastman Kodak (Nasdaq: EK) expanded its private placement to raise more capital.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 7 to 5 on the NYSE and by a margin of nearly 10 to 9 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose 2 points to 617.

Markets Advance At Midday

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The markets advanced during the midday with the Dow gaining 53 points to 9837. Nasdaq rose 10 points to 2137.

On the upside 

SmartHeat (Nasdaq: HEAT) priced its public offering of approximately 7.2 million shares at $9 per share.

RBC Capital Markets upgraded Boston Private Financial (Nasdaq: BPFH) after the bank announced that it was selling its Gibraltar Private Bank & Trust to private investors.

Mueller Water Products (NYSE: MWA) priced its offering of 32.3 million shares of common stock at $4.75 per share.

On the downside

Navios Maritime Partners (NYSE: NMM) priced its offering of 2.8 million shares of common stock at $12.21 per share.

Cal Dive International's (NYSE: DVR) largest shareholder Helix Energy Solutions Group will sell 20.6 million shares of its stake in Cal Dive at $10 per share.

Comstock Homebuilding (Nasdaq: CHCI) amended its loan agreement with a major lender to lower its principal payments.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 5 to 4 on the NYSE and by a margin of nearly 10 to 9 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a point to 617.

Stocks Open Higher on Investor Optimism

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With no major economic reports on today's calendar, investors moved more money into blue chips, but some analysts questioned the sustainability of the recent rally.  The Dow rose 40 points to 9824 while Nasdaq added 4 points to 2131.

On the upside 

SXC Health Solutions (Nasdaq: SXCI) increased the size of its stock offering.  The company provides pharmacy benefit management services.

An analyst upgraded Magma Design Automation (Nasdaq: LAVA).   The company makes design software for the semiconductor industry.

Shares of InterOil (NYSE: IOC) continued to rally after the company drilled and found the top of the reef in Papua New Guinea sooner than expected which suggest greater output.

On the downside

Georgia Gulf (NYSE: GGC) expanded the number of new shares to be issued to 100 million.

Arena Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ARNA) announced positive results for its anti-obesity drug, but the treatment was not as effective as other competing drug candidates.

An analyst downgraded Fuqi International (Nasdaq: FUQI).  The company sells jewelry through distributors in China.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by a margin of 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a point to 617.

Despite a drop in jobless claims, the markets closed modestly lower with the Dow slipping 7 points to 9783. Nasdaq lost 6 points to 2126.

On the upside 

Origin Agritech (Nasdaq: SEED) acquired exclusive worldwide rights to weedkiller resistant new seed.

Orient-Express Hotels (NYSE: OEH) announced that it promoted vice president of operations Filip Boyen to the newly created position of chief operating officer.

Jefferies & Co. analyst Randal Konik said that revenue at Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF) will stabilize.

On the downside

Conexant Systems (Nasdaq: CNXT) was named to the 2009 InformationWeek 500 list of the nation's most innovative users of business technology.

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: BCRX) warned that it may not see a profit from sales of its flu treatment peramivir.

Headwaters (NYSE: HW) announced a direct offering of 9.6 million common shares to raise capital to pay down debt.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 5 to 4 on the NYSE while decliners were on par with advancers on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks eased a point to 615.

Markets Down As Oil Rises

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Rising crude oil prices weighed down the markets during the midday with the Dow losing 23 points to 9767. Nasdaq slipped 11 points to 2121.

On the upside 

Ivanhoe Energy (Nasdaq: IVAN) announced a technical breakthrough in its proprietary HTL technology and also announced that an independent reviewer confirmed the world-class status of the company's heavy oil field in Ecuador.

Xenoport (Nasdaq: XNPT) and GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) reported positive results for their neuropathic pain treatment.

US Airways (NYSE: LCC) announced redesign plans for its business suite to include seats that lie flat and an on-demand in-flight entertainment system.

On the downside

Majesco Entertainment (Nasdaq: COOL) announced a registered direct offering to raise approximately $9.6 million.

United Western Bancorp (Nasdaq: UWBK) priced its offering of 20 million common shares at $4 per share.

Eastman Kodak (NYSE: EK) will offer senior secured notes and convertible senior notes in order to raise approximately $700 million.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by 9 to 7 Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped 4 points to 612.

1st time unemployment claims edged down for the latest week while housing starts increased to their highest level in 9 months.  The Dow added 11 points to 9803 while Nasdaq held steady at 2133.

On the upside 

American Airlines (NYSE: AMR) received $2.9 billion in financing including $1 billion in cash from the sale of frequent flyer miles to Citigroup.

Zargis Medical received FDA clearance to sell its heart and lung sound recording device to the U.S. Army.  The company is majority-owned by Speedus Corp. (Nasdaq: SPDE).

Shares of Hovnanian Enterprises (NYSE: HOV) and Pulte Homes (NYSE: PHM) edged higher as construction of new homes and construction rose 3.3% in August.

On the downside

Shares of Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) fell after reporting revenues and earnings late yesterday that missed expectations.

Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) posted 3rd quarter profits that tripled boosted by a payment from a lawsuit settlement.  The card lender also increased its loan-loss reserves.

Synovus Financial (NYSE: SNV) priced 150 million new shares at $4 apiece.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 5 to 4 on both the NYSE and Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a point to 618.

Investors embraced a better than expected industrial production report as evidence that the recession was likely over sending the Dow soaring 108 points to 9791. Nasdaq climbed 30 points to 2133.

On the upside 

Uranium Resources (Nasdaq: URRE) ended its agreement to acquire assets in New Mexico.

Shares of Allied Irish (NYSE: AIB) rose after the Irish goverment announced that it would purchase approximately $113 billion in bad loans from banks.

The National Association of Home Builders reported an increase in its housing market index lifting shares Beazer Homes (NYSE: BZH).

Shares of The New York Times (NYSE: NYT) rose after market research firm TNS Media Intelligence said that trends in advertising spending show improvement.On the downside

An analyst said that as more casinos are slated to open in Las Vegas, MGM (NYSE: MGM) loses its luster.

An analyst downgraded Premiere Global Services (NYSE: PGI) after the company forecast full year results below expectations.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 1 on the NYSE and by a margin of nearly 5 to 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks climbed 12 points to 617.

Industrial production rose more than expected last month to lift the markets higher with the Dow climbing 77 points to 9761. Nasdaq gained 20 points to 2123.

On the upside 

The Food and Drug Administration granted Keryx Biopharmaceuticals' (Nasdaq: KERX) multiple myeloma treatment Ophan-Drug designation.

Corning (NYSE: GLW) paid approximately $400 million in cash to acquire American Capital's(Nasdaq: ACAS) life sciences equipment maker Axygen BioScience.

Genworth Financial (NYSE: GNW) priced its public offering of 48 million shares at $11.75 per share.

On the downside

Novavax (Nasdaq: NVAX) will sell common shares to raise approximately $10 million.

Helicos BioSciences (NYSE: HLCS) will raise $10 million through a private placement of its common shares.

Agco (NYSE: AGCO) blamed disappointing sales for slashing its full year outlook.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 7 to 2 on the NYSE and by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 8 points to 613.

A better than expected industrial production report lifted stocks on further signs of a sustainable economic recovery.  The Dow rose 33 points to 9716 while Nasdaq added 7 points to 2110.

On the upside 

Shares of Omniture (Nasdaq: OMTR) soared after Adobe (Nasdaq: ADBE), the maker of website design tools, offered $1.8 billion for the business software maker.

Gold prices hit an 18-month high lifting commodity stocks.  Shares of Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold (NYSE: FCX) and Hecla Mining (NYSE: HL) rose.

Oil prices held steady at $71 a barrel.  Shares of Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE: APC) were among the morning's biggest gainers.

On the downside

Shares of Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) fell bucking the rally among business software stocks.  Analysts expect modest earnings growth.

AGCO (NYSE: AGCO) lowered its outlook for the remainder of the year due to lower sales of its agricultural equipment.

An analyst downgraded IDEX (NYSE: IEX) due to valuation.  The company makes industrial equipment.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by a margin of 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 2 points to 607.

Upbeat retail sales data lifted the markets to a modestly higher close with the Dow climbing 56 points to 9683. Nasdaq gained 10 points to 2102.

On the upside 

Microvision (Nasdaq: MVIS) introduced the world's first laser-based pico projector.

Regions Financial (NYSE: RF) chief executive Dowd Ritter said that the bank does not need to raise more capital.

Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Jeffrey Lindsay upgraded Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) saying that the stock is undervalued.

On the downside

Coventry Health Care's (NYSE: CVH) Workers Comp division will be able to use MedRisk's physical therapists, occupational therapists and chiropractors.

UBS downgraded Health Net (NYSE: HNT).

Glimcher Realty Trust (NYSE: GLR) announced plans to sell a mall in Portland, Oregon and will extend its $470 million credit agreement.

In the broad market, advancing issues edged out decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by a margin of more than 7 to 5 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 4 points to 604.

Better than expected retails sales lifted the markets higher during the midday with the Dow gaining 67 points to 9693. Nasdaq rose 11 points to 2103.

On the upside 

Jihe Orient Wind Energy awarded A-Power Energy Generation Systems (Nasdaq: APWR) a $90.5 million contract to build a wind farm in Mongolia.

Synovus Financial (NYSE: SNV) announced plans to raise approximately $500 million through a stock offering and a debt exchange offering.

Martha Stewart (NYSE: MSO) branded merchandise will be available at Home Depot (NYSE:HD) beginning in 2010.

On the downside

An independent committee recommended that Ariad Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: ARIA) continue enrolling subjects in its late stage cancer treatment drug trial but the stock price fell.

Smithfield Foods (NYSE: SFD) will raise capital through a $250 million common stock offering. Paul Fribourg resigned his board seat in protest of the offering saying that shareholder value will be diluted.

Rumors that the federal government may begin selling its stake in Citigroup (NYSE: C) sent the stock price tumbling.

In the broad market, advancing issues edged out decliners by a margin of nearly 7 to 3 on the NYSE and by a margin of more than 9 to 7 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 4 points to 604.

Stocks Open Mixed as Retail Sales Surge

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Retail sales rose by a better than expected 2.7% in August, but wholesale prices surged which worried some investors.   The Dow slipped 4 points to 9622 while Nasdaq held steady at 2090.

On the upside 

Lexicon Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: LXRX) posted positive phase 1 results for its drug candidate that treats diabetes.

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: BCRX) signed marketing agreements for its flu vaccine with partners in Mexico, Brazil, China, and Israel.

Shares of Teradyne (NYSE: TER) rose after an analyst upgraded the chip testing equipment maker.

On the downside

Falling sales hurt the latest quarterly results announced by Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) as profits dropped missing estimates.

Shares of Kroger (NYSE: KR) fell after the nation's largest traditional grocery chain posted a decline in revenues and earnings that missed expectations.

An analyst downgraded Arena Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ARNA) which is developing weight loss drugs.

In the broad market, advancing issues edged out decliners by a margin of 10 to 9 on the NYSE, but were outpaced by a margin of 5 to 4 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped 2 points to 591.

The markets closed modestly higher with the Dow gaining 21 points to 9626 despite a trade dispute with China. Nasdaq climbed 10 points to 2091.

On the upside 

Zoom Technologies (Nasdaq: ZOOM) announced that its recent acquisition Gold Lion swung to a profit.

American Capital (Nasdaq: ACAS) reported a $16 million gain from the sale of a portfolio company.

Bank of America analyst Shaun Kelley upgraded Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS) citing the possibility of an IPO in Macau.

On the downside

Chevron selected KBR (NYSE: KBR) for a $2.33 billion energy project in Australia.

Sonic Automotive (NYSE: SAH) will offer approximately 9 million shares of common stock.

Alexza Pharmaceuticals' (Nasdaq: ALXA) migraine treatment AZ-104 failed a mid stage clinical trial.

In the broad market, advancing issues decliners by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by a margin of 3 to 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 6 points to 600.

China Files Complaint Against U.S.

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The Dow slipped 10 points to 9594 as China filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization against the United States over new tire tariffs. Nasdaq added 3 points to 2084.

On the upside 

The Eighth International Kidney Cancer Symposium selected Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: KERX) to present data from a Phase 2 clinical trial of its advanced cancer treatment PI3KAkt.

The Food and Drug Administration said that Auxilium Pharmaceuticals' (Nasdaq: AUXL) advanced Dupuytren's disease treatment provides relief with minor side effects.

Tenet Healthcare (Nasdaq: THC) cited better than expected revenue prompted the hospital operator to lift its full year outlook.

On the downside

CytRx (Nasdaq: CYTR) will begin a dose escalation study of its leukemia treatment tamibarotene combined with Trisenox.

MGIC Investment (NYSE: MTG) will defer interest payments for some of its debentures that are due October 1.

Fitch Ratings downgraded Sallie Mae (NYSE: SLM).

In the broad market, declining issues barely outpaced advancers by a slim margin on the NYSE and while advancers barely edged out decliners on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a point to 595.

A growing trade dispute between the U.S. and China weighed on the markets as the Dow lost 36 points to 9568.  Nasdaq shed 5 points to 2075.

On the upside 

Drugmaker Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY) announced 5500 job cuts or about 13% of its global workforce, but excludes new hirings in emerging markets and Japan.

Shares of Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) rose on the possibility of combining with T-Mobile USA.

Salix Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SLXP) reported positive late stage results for its drug treatment of irritable bowel syndrome.

On the downside

Shares of Alexza Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ALXA) fell after the company announced disappointing results for its migraine drug candidate.

Sonic Automotive (NYSE: SAH) announced an unpriced stock offering of 9 million shares and about $125 million in convertible senior notes.

An analyst downgraded Coeur D'Alene Mines (NYSE: CDE), a gold and silver mining company whose shares recently hit all-time highs.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by 3 to 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped 2 points to 591.

Soaring Deficit Weighs Down Markets

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The markets closed lower with the Dow falling 22 points to 9605 as the nation's deficit soared to a record $1.38 trillion in August. Nasdaq lost 3 points to 2080.

On the upside 

NeuroMetrix (Nasdaq: NURO) completed its private placement of approximately $18.7 million in stocks and warrants.

The European Patent Office granted CytRx (Nasdaq: CYTR) a patent for its arimoclomol treatment for neurodegenerative diseases of the central nervous system.

Shares of Motorola (NYSE: MOT) surged in anticipation of a collaboration with Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) to develop a new mobile phone.

On the downside

Fourth quarter earnings tumbled for Aceto (Nasdaq: ACET) as revenue dropped.

E-Trade (Nasdaq: ETFC) announced the retirement of chairman and chief executive Don Layton at the end of this year.

Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) announced an internal investigation into allegations that an employee improperly used bank owned property in Malibu, California. 

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 9 to 7 on the NYSE while decliners edged out advancers by more than 7 to 5 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks eased a point to 593.

Despite a greater than expected gain in consumer sentiment, the markets slipped further into negative territory during the midday with the Dow losing 35 points to 9591. Nasdaq slipped 6 points to 2077.

On the upside 

EDAP (Nasdaq: EDAP) announced that the Taiwan Department of Health approved the use of the company's Ablatherm-HIFU device to treat prostate cancer.

McClatchy (NYSE: MNI) will release third quarter earnings on October 15.

EnCana (NYSE: ECA) will split into an integrated oil company to be named Cenovus and a natural gas company that will retain the EnCana name.

On the downside

Compton Petroleum (NYSE: CMZ) announced the terms of its $150 million public offering.

Fourth quarter earnings for Brady (NYSE: BRC) plunged to fall short of expectations due to a drop in revenue.

MarineMax (NYSE: HZO) priced its offering of 2.6 million shares at $7 per share. 

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 10 to 9 on the NYSE while decliners edged out advancers by 7 to 5 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped 2 points to 592.

A greater than expected drop in wholesale inventories weighed down the markets in early morning trading with the Dow slipping 5 points to 9621. Nasdaq eased a fraction to 2083.

On the upside 

Barclays Capital upgraded American Axle & Manufacturing (NYSE: AXL).

MGM Mirage (NYSE: MGM) extended the exchange date for its senior notes.

FedEx (NYSE: FDX) lifted its outlook for the first quarter as international shipments improved.

On the downside

Finisar (Nasdaq: FNSR) announced a 1-for-8 reverse stock split effective September 25, 2009.

First quarter earnings for National Semiconductor (NYSE: NSM) tumbled.

Union Bankshares (NYSE: UBSH) priced its offering of 4.725 million common shares at $13.25 per share. 

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 10 to 9 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a point to 596.

Higher Close Over Upbeat Jobs Report

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The markets continued to advance to close higher with the Dow climbing 80 points to 9627 over an upbeat jobs report. Nasdaq soared 23 points to 2084.

On the upside 

ATP Oil & Gas (NYSE: ATPG) announced that it discovered more oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico than originally estimated.

USEC (NYSE: USU) will provide Exelon Generation with separative work units in a contract valued at approximately $1.2 billion.

J. P. Morgan analyst Jamie Baker upgraded US Airways (NYSE: LCC) saying that the airliner survive and not need to file for bankruptcy.

On the downside

Penn Virginia (NYSE: PVG) will offer nearly 9 million common shares.

Ramco-Gershenson Properties (NYSE: RPT) lowered its outlook for 2009 and warned that its quarterly dividend will be cut as well.

American International Group (NYSE: AIG) is exploring the option of selling stakes in various of its businesses rather than selling the units as a whole in order to pay back the government. 

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks climbed 8 points to 594.

Upbeat Jobs Report Lifts Markets

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Investors embraced an upbeat jobs report to lift the markets higher during the midday with the Dow gaining 30 points to 9577. Nasdaq rose 9 points to 2070.

On the upside 

Third quarter earnings for NCI Building Systems (NYSE: NCS) fell but the results topped estimates.

Morgan Stanley upgraded RadioShack (NYSE: RSH).

A union of YRC Worldwide (Nasdaq: YRCW) agreed to pay and pension cuts to avoid closure of the unit.

On the downside

Although second quarter earnings for Men's Wearhouse (NYSE: MW) beat expectations, the company forecast disappointing third quarter results.

Jaguar Mining (NYSE: JAG) announced a private placement of approximately $110 million in senior convertible notes.

Citibank analyst Yaron Werber downgraded AMAG Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: AMAG). 

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 4 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 2 points to 589.

Mixed Open As Oil Prices Rise

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The markets opened mixed despite a drop in initial jobless claims as oil prices rose. The Dow slipped 9 points to 9537 while Nasdaq added 4 points to 2064.

On the upside 

The Food and Drug Administration will allow Dynavax (Nasdaq: DVAX) to continue drug trials of its hepatitis B vaccine.

J. P. Morgan upgraded United Airlines parent UAL (Nasdaq: UAUA) .

Skyworks (Nasdaq: SWKS) lifted its fourth quarter guidance citing improving demand.

On the downside

Photronics (Nasdaq: PLAB) announced that it will sell $50 million in senior convertible notes in order to pay down debt.

Navistar International (NYSE: NAV) swung to a third quarter loss that fell far short of expectations and cut its full year outlook.

Monsanto (NYSE: MON) will eliminate approximately 8 percent of its staff, a deeper cut than originally announced. 

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by nearly 7 to 5 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 2 points to 583.

A Federal Reserve survey indicating stabilization of the nation's economy lifted the markets to a higher close with the Dow rising 49 points to 9547. Nasdaq climbed 22 points to 2060.

On the upside 

Delta Petroleum (Nasdaq: DPTR) received approval from the Klickitat County Board of Adjustment to drill four exploratory natural gas wells.

JDA Software (Nasdaq: JDAS) repurchased its preferred convertible stock for $30 million.

Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD) will report second quarter earnings on September 24.

On the downside

Shares of Blockbuster (NYSE: BBI) dropped after a report last week that YouTube may stream movie rentals.

Omega Navigation Enterprises (Nasdaq: ONAV) swung to a loss for the second quarter.

Credit Suisse analyst Deepak Sitaraman downgraded Palm (NYSE: PALM) saying that by selecting only one carrier for its Pixi phone will hurt sales. 

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks climbed 10 points to 586.

Markets Continue Advance

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The markets continued to advance during the midday with the Dow gaining 63 points to 9560 ahead of the Federal Reserve's beige book report. Nasdaq climbed 25 points to 2062.

On the upside 

First quarter earnings for Hi-Tech Pharmacal (Nasdaq: HITK) surged as generic drug sales nearly tripled.

Barclays Capital analyst Roger Freeman upgraded Fortress Investment Group (NYSE: FIG).

ATP Oil & Gas (Nasdaq: ATPG) announced the discovery of additional pay sands at its deepwater Telemark Hub in the Gulf of Mexico.

On the downside

Shares of Opexa Therapeutics (Nasdaq: OPXA) tumbled as investors locked in their profits after yesterday's surge.

Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX) increased its shares offering to $3.5 billion.

Encore Acquisition (NYSE: EAC) priced its public offering of $2.75 million shares at $37.40 per share. 

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose 9 points to 586.

The markets opened lower, but quickly moved into positive territory as U.S. mortgage applications surged to their highest levels since late May.  Meanwhile, oil prices neared the $71 a barrel mark.  The Dow rose 32 points to 9530 while Nasdaq climbed 9 points to 2047.

On the upside 

Shares of Vivus (Nasdaq: VVUS) soared after the drug developer announced results that two late stage studies for Qnexa met key weight loss goals.

Syneron Medical offered $65 million in stock to acquire rival Candela Corp. (Nasdaq: CLZR) to combine two medical laser equipment makers.

An analyst upgraded eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) which recently spun off a majority stake of its Skype unit to private investors.

On the downside

K12 (NYSE: LRN) posted higher revenues that missed expectations.  Shares of online education services provider fell.

AeroVironment (Nasdaq: AVAV) posted a surprise 1st quarter loss.  Analysts promptly downgraded the stock.

Pep Boys (NYSE: PBY) reported higher earnings due to cost-cutting, but revenues fell slightly.  Consumers keeping their existing cars were expected to spend more money repairing them, but analysts felt the company lagged competitors. 

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 4 points to 580.

Investor Sentiment Lifted By M&A News

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Investors embraced merger and acquisition news to lift the markets to a higher close with the Dow climbing 56 points to 9497. Nasdaq gained 18 points to 2037.

On the upside 

Barclays Capital upgraded Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD) after its chip foundry partner ATIC offered $1.8 billion to acquire Chartered Semiconductor.

Stifel Nicolaus upgraded Diamondrock Hospitality (NYSE: DRH).

Best Solar selected LDK Solar (NYSE: LDK) to provide the company with solar wafers.

On the downside

UCBH Holdings (Nasdaq: UCBH) reached an agreement with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the California Department of Financial Institutions and announced the resignation of president and chief executive Thomas S. Wu and chief operating officer Ebrahim Shabudin.

The Centers for Disease Control's latest guideline for flu treatment did not list Biocryst Pharmaceuticals' (Nasdaq: BCRX) antiviral flu medicine peramivir.

Sprint (NYSE: S) announced a $100 credit to new customers who buy the Palm Pre and sign up for a two year plan.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 3 to 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 5 points to 576.

Merger and acquisition news lifted the markets modestly higher during the midday with the Dow gaining 29 points to 9470. Nasdaq rose 10 points to 2029.

On the upside 

Atheros Communications (Nasdaq: ATHR) announced plans to acquire Intellon (Nasdaq: ITLN) in a cash and stock deal valued at approximately $244 million.

Cadbury (NYSE: CBY) rejected Kraft Foods (NYSE: KFT) $16.7 billion acquisition offer saying that the bid was too low prompting an upgrade.

Fairfax Financial Holdings announced that it will acquire Odyssey Re Holdings (NYSE: ORH).

On the downside

Morgan Joseph downgraded Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SPPI).

Former director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency James Lockhart said that he does not expect Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) and Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) to repay the federal government in full.

Shares of Bank of Granite (Nasdaq: GRAN) continued to fall after the company signed a cease and desist order with the FDIC.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 7 to 5 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 3 points to 574.

Investors grew optimistic following a weekend pledge by the Group of 20 nations to keep stimulating their economies.  Gold prices surged to an 18-month high.  The Dow climbed 46 points to 9487 while Nasdaq surged 14 points to 2032.

On the upside 

To boost liquidity, Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS) successfully funded its $600 million bond public offering.

Helicos BioSciences (Nasdaq: HLCS) sold 4 genetic analysis systems to a Japanese firm.

Opexa Therapeutics (Nasdaq: OPXA) reported positive results for its vaccine treatment of multiple sclerosis.

On the downside

Kraft Foods (NYSE: KFT) offered about $16 billion to acquire U.K.-based Cadbury PLC (NYSE: CBY) which promptly rejected the bid as too low.

Shares of Osiris Therapeutics (Nasdaq: OSIR) tumbled after its two stem cell drug candidates failed in late-stage studies.

Credit Suisse downgraded American International Group (NYSE: AIG), a beleaguered insurer whose asset sales may leave a core business with "little to no value" for common shareholders.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 4 points to 573.

U. S. Markets Closed

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U. S. markets are closed in observance of the Labor Day holiday.
Despite a greater than expected increase in the nation's unemployment rate, the markets closed higher with the Dow soaring 96 points to 9441 as the pace of job losses slowed. Nasdaq climbed 35 points to 2018.

On the upside 

Facet (Nasdaq: FACT) received an acquisition offer of approximately $355 million from Biogen Idec.

Esterline Technologies (NYSE: ESL) reported higher third quarter earnings and lifted its full year guidance.

Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS) will sell $600 million worth of bonds.

On the downside

American International Group (NYSE: AIG) delayed the announcement of the purchaser of itsTaiwan Nan Shan Life business.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the expanded use of Spectrum Pharmaceuticals' (Nasdaq: SPPI) cancer treatment Zevalin but analyst alreadly anticipated the approval.

Ford (NYSE: F) settled a toxic waste lawsuit alleging that the automaker dumped paint sludge and other toxic materials in northern New Jersey.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 3 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 8 points 570.

Investors embraced news that the pace of job losses slowed to boost the markets higher with the Dow climbing 77 points to 9421. Nasdaq gained 28 points to 2011.

On the upside 

Jazz Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: JAZZ) executives will present at two investor conferences.

Second quarter earnings rose for Ulta Salon (Nasdaq: ULTA) to top estimates as sales increased.

Rumors circulated that Samsung may acquire Rambus (Nasdaq: RMBS).

On the downside

Bridgepoint Education (NYSE: BPI) warned that it may be fined by the Department of Education.

Citi Investment Research analyst Kimberly Greenberger cited weak same store sales for downgrading Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF).

Third quarter earnings for Quiksilver (NYSE: ZQK) tumbled and the company warned of losses for the fourth quarter.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 7 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks climbed 6 points 568.

Fewer jobs were cut in August even as the unemployment rate jumped to 9.7%, the highest figure since June 1983.  The Dow rose 15 points to 9360 while Nasdaq added 3 points to 1986.

On the upside 

Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) received notice from the NYSE that the company has regained compliance with the exchange's minimum price standard for continued listing of its common stock.

Shares of LTX Credence (Nasdaq: LTXC) rose after the chip maker posted a 4th quarter loss, but raised its guidance for 2010.  An analyst promptly upgraded the stock.

Shares of KKR Financial Holdings (NYSE: KFN) surged higher on an analyst upgrade and the possibility of a dividend.

On the downside

A rheumatoid arthritis drug candidate developed by Array BioPharma (Nasdaq: ARRY) missed study goals.  Analysts promptly downgraded the stock.

H&R Block (NYSE: HRB) announced a quarterly loss due to higher acquisition costs.  The tax preparation company posted revenues that edged higher, but missed targets.

G-III Apparel Group (Nasdaq: GIII) posted higher quarterly sales and a narrower loss, but its 2010 outlook was revised downward.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 3 to 2 on the NYSE and by 10 to 9 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks was unchanged at 561.

Upbeat Economic Data Lifts Markets

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The markets closed higher with the Dow climbing 63 points to 9344 as mortgage rates slipped and jobless claims fell. Nasdaq gained 16 points to 1983.

On the upside 

Two articles were published about Curis' (Nasdaq: CRIS) experimental cancer treatment GDC-0449.

CryoLife (NYSE: CRY) announced its second annual surgical congress for the Ross Procedure.

Shares of Quicksilver (NYSE: ZQK) rose ahead of its earnings release after market close.

On the downside

InnerWorkings (Nasdaq: INWK) blamed falling sales for slashing its full year outlook.

Family Dollar Stores (NYSE: FDO) disappointed with a smaller than expected same store sales growth.

A federal judge will allow a class action lawsuit accusing McGraw Hill's (NYSE: MHP) of fraud to go forward.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose 6 points to 557.

Drop In Jobless Claims Lifts Markets

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The markets traded modestly higher during the midday with the Dow gaining 25 points to 9306 as initial jobless claims slipped. Nasdaq rose 8 points to 1975.

On the upside 

Imperial Industries (Nasdaq: IPII) extended the terms of its credit facility.

Vical (Nasdaq: VICL) received a new patent for its Vaxfectin-formulated DNA vaccines for seasonal and pandemic flu viruses.

Del Monte Foods (NYSE: DLM) swung to a first quarter profit that topped estimates prompting the company to lift its full year outlook.

On the downside

Amedisys (Nasdaq: AMED) announced that its president and chief operating officer Larry Graham and its chief information technology officer Alice Schwartz both resigned.

Although Hovnanian Enterprises (NYSE: HOV) narrowed its third quarter loss, the results fell short of expectations.

A federal judge rejected a motion to dismiss a class action lawsuit accusing Moody's Corp. (NYSE: MCO) of fraud.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 9 to 7 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a point to 557.

The markets opened higher as 1st time unemployment claims fell last week while retailers reported modest sales declines to beat expectations.  The Dow rose 25 points to 9307 while Nasdaq added 6 points to 1973.

On the upside 

Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) planned an October launch of a phone using Android software developed by Google (Nasdaq: GOOG).

Discounting trimmed same-store sales at Costco Wholesale (Nasdaq: COST) by 2% in August, but the results were better than analyst's estimates of a 5.7% decline.  Target (Nasdaq: TGT) reported a 2.9% drop in same-store sales, also better than expected.

Sinovac Biotech (NYSE: SVA) received a production license for its flu vaccine in China.

Marine construction and services contractor Orion Marine Group (NYSE: ORN) won a contract valued at about $54 million.

On the downside

European Union regulators planned to take 90 days to review antitrust issues surrounding the takeover of Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: JAVA) by Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL).

Family Dollar Stores (NYSE: FDO) posted a 1% increase in same-store sales in August, but analysts had set higher targets.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 4 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose a point to 557.

The markets slipped to close modestly lower with the Dow falling 29 points to 9280 as concerns about job losses continue to weigh on investors. Nasdaq slipped a point to 1967.

On the upside 

Motorola (NYSE: MOT) introduced its new advanced data capture solutions to improve productivity.

Goldman Sachs analyst Noah Poponak upgraded Textron (NYSE: AAPL) saying that business is poised to improve.

Yamana Gold (NYSE: AUY) declared a quarterly dividend of a penny per share payable on October 14, 2009 to shareholders of record September 30, 2009.

MDS (NYSE: MDZ) will sell its MDS Analytical Technologies unit to Danaher (NYSE: DHR) for approximately $650 million in cash.

On the downside

SeaChange International (Nasdaq: SEAC) disappointed by swinging to a second quarter loss that was greater than expected.

Third quarter earnings and revenue for Applied Signal Technology (Nasdaq: APSG) slipped to fall short of estimates.

Synovis Life Technologies (Nasdaq: SYNO).

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 7 to 5 on the NYSE and by nearly 10 to 9 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 2 points to 555.

Markets Flat Over Job Concerns

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The markets traded near the flatline during the midday with the Dow slipping 3 points to 9307 despite an upbeat factory orders report as investors remain wary of further job losses. Nasdaq added a fraction to 1969.

On the upside 

Credit Suisse analyst Satya Kumar upgraded Amkor Technology (Nasdaq: AMKR) saying increasing demand will improve margins.

Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) approved Vonage Holdings' (NYSE: VG) iPhone and iPod applications.

The patent office issued The Medicines Company (Nasdaq: MDCO) a new patent for the company's improved Angiomax.

On the downside

Second quarter earnings for DHT Maritime (NYSE: DHT) plunged as sales fell and the company cancelled its second quarter dividend.

The Department of Energy denied Raser Technologies' (NYSE: RZ) loan guarantee application for its East Thermo project.

Synovis Life Technologies (Nasdaq: SYNO) blamed impairment charges for swinging to a third quarter loss.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 5 to 4 on the NYSE and by nearly 10 to 9 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks eased a fraction to 557.

Investors stayed on the sidelines following a report on continued job losses in the private sector.  Meanwhile, worker productivity rose sharply for its best gain in six years.  The Dow lost 6 points to 9303 while Nasdaq inched higher to 1969.

On the upside 

Danaher (NYSE: DHR) offered $1.1 billion in cash and debt to take control of the mass spectrometers product line from MDS (NYSE: MDS) and Life Technologies (Nasdaq: LIFE).

Shares of VeriFone Holdings (NYSE: PAY) rose after the electronic payment service provider posted a 3rd quarter profit that surpassed expectations.

On the downside

Shares of Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) and Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) fell on the possibility that Congress may transform the two mortgage financing companies into small, private businesses.

An analyst downgraded Novavax (Nasdaq: NVAX) due to valuation.  The biopharmaceutical company develops flu vaccines.

Shares of Donaldson (NYSE: DCI) fell after the filtration systems maker offered guidance that missed analysts' estimates.

Communications equipment and service provider Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) announced a $1 billion convertible bond offering.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by 5 to 4 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost a point to 556.

Investors stayed on the sidelines following a report on continued job losses in the private sector.  Meanwhile, worker productivity rose sharply for its best gain in six years.  The Dow lost 6 points to 9303 while Nasdaq inched higher to 1969.

On the upside 

Danaher (NYSE: DHR) offered $1.1 billion in cash and debt to take control of the mass spectrometers product line from MDS (NYSE: MDS) and Life Technologies (Nasdaq: LIFE).

Shares of VeriFone Holdings (NYSE: PAY) rose after the electronic payment service provider posted a 3rd quarter profit that surpassed expectations.

On the downside

Shares of Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) and Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) fell on the possibility that Congress may transform the two mortgage financing companies into small, private businesses.

An analyst downgraded Novavax (Nasdaq: NVAX) due to valuation.  The biopharmaceutical company develops flu vaccines.

Shares of Donaldson (NYSE: DCI) fell after the filtration systems maker offered guidance that missed analysts' estimates.

Communications equipment and service provider Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) announced a $1 billion convertible bond offering.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by 5 to 4 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost a point to 556.

Investor Concerns Sink Stocks

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Investors continued to question the recovery of the financial services sector sending the markets down to a sharply lower close with the Dow skidding 185 points to 9310. Nasdaq plunged 40 points to 1968.

On the upside 

Shares of AVI Biopharma (Nasdaq: AVII) surged for a second day on hopes that health regulators around the world will purchase swine flu vaccines.

On the downside

Two of Builders FirstSource's (Nasdaq: BLDR) largest shareholders plan to restructure the building products supplier's debt.

Shares of Catalyst Pharmaceutical Partners (NYSE: CPRX) retreated after surging yesterday on news that the company signed an exclusive licensing deal to commercialize a new class of GABA aminotransferase inhibitors discovered by Northwestern University.

CPI (NYSE: CPY) reported a loss for the second quarter.

Gander Mountain (Nasdaq: GMTN) widened second quarter losses as expenses rose.

Two potential suitors of E-Trade (Nasdaq: ETFC) may wait until 2010 to make a bid for the discount broker.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 4 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks dropped 14 points to 558.

Banking Concerns Send Markets Down

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Concerns about further bank failures sent the markets into a tailspin during the midday with the Dow plummeting 176 points to 9319. Nasdaq tumbled 39 points to 1969.

On the upside 

Brigham Exploration (Nasdaq: BEXP) announced that its Figaro 29-32 well produced 1,895 barrels of oil equivalents per day and said that overall oil volumes will increase in the third quarter.

America's Car Mart (Nasdaq: CRMT) reported higher first quarter earnings that topped estimates as same store sales rose.

EDAP TMS (Nasdaq: EDAP) impressed with sharply higher earnings and revenue.

On the downside

A late stage clinical trial of Acadia Pharmaceuticals' (Nasdaq: ACAD) Parkinson's disease psychosis treatment failed.

CIT Group (NYSE: CIT) deferred interest payments for some notes.

A San Francisco judge delayed Rambus' (NYSE: RMBS) antitrust case against Micron Technology (NYSE: MU), Hynix Semiconductor and Samsung Electronics.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 4 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks fell 13 points to 558.

Stocks opened higher as investors awaited the latest batch of manufacturing and housing data which may point to an economic recovery. The Dow added 13 points to 9509 while Nasdaq rose 6 points to 2015.

On the upside 

Vivendi SA (NYSE: VIV) reported lower 1st half revenues and profits as the media and entertainment company weathered the global downturn.

Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) announced plans to re-pay some of the $45 billion in TARP funds that the company had received from the federal bailout.

Novavax (Nasdaq: NVAX) reported positive clinical trial results that met safety goals for its flu vaccine candidate.

On the downside

CardioNet (Nasdaq: BEAT) revealed that Highmark Medicare Services will implement a reduced reimbursement schedule for mobile cardiac services.

Shares of China Medical Technologies (Nasdaq: CMED) fell after the company posted higher revenues and lower income versus year-ago levels.

An analyst downgraded American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings (NYSE: AXL) due to valuation.  Last month, the auto parts maker reached a deal with General Motors for a $110 million cash infusion and a $100 million loan facility.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 3 points to 575.

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