November 2009 Archives

Slowdown In Job Losses Lifts Markets

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The markets recovered in late afternoon trading with the Dow gaining 34 points to close at 10,344 as job losses slowed markedly in November. Nasdaq added 6 points to 2144.

On the upside

GSI Technology (Nasdaq: GSIT) introduced two new revolutionary SRAM products providing improved performance, greater reliability and increased flexibility.

CSG Systems International (Nasdaq: CSGS) entered two multi-year contracts to provide customer care as well as print, mail and billing services to DISH Network.

For the fifth year in a row, WuXi Pharma Tech (NYSE: WX) was named to the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 China 2009 list. 

On the downside

Shares of Borders (NYSE: BGP) continued to fall as consumers opt to purchase books online and through discount retailers.

Cell Therapeutics' (Nasdaq: CTIC) new class of anti-tumor drugs exhibited stronger potency than currently available compounds. However, the stock price fell.

Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS) stock dropped after shares of its Macau unit Sands China fell on its first day of trading on the Hong Kong market.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 4 to 3 on the NYSE while advancers edged out decliners by a slim margin on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 2 points to 579.

Holiday Spending Drops, Markets Fall

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Spending over the holiday weekend fell as job concerns continued to plague consumers. The Dow lost 31 points to 10,278 while Nasdaq fell 12 points to 2125.

On the upside

Shares of Somaxon Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SOMX) surged ahead of the Food and Drug Administration's approval decision on Friday for the company's insomnia treatment Silenor.

Rumors that Euro Tech Holdings (Nasdaq: CLWT) may commence an initial public offering for its Chinese water unit lifted shares of the company.

Shares of Origin Agritech (NYSE: SEED) continued surging after the Chinese government approved the company's genetically modified corn seeds last week. 

On the downside

Upscale retailer Saks (Nasdaq: SKS) stock tumbled after the National Retail Federation reported that while more people shopped over the Thanksgiving weekend, consumer spent less this year.

Resource Capital (NYSE: RSO) will raise $50 million through an offering of common stock.

Disappointing holiday retail sales figures weighed down shares of Talbots (NYSE: TLB).

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks dropped 6 points to 570.

The main stock exchange in Dubai tumbled after an announcement that Dubai World's debt is not guaranteed by the Dubai government.  The Dow added 5 points to 10,315 while Nasdaq lost 3 points to 2134.

On the upside

Minerva Biotechnologies granted Clarient (Nasdaq: CLRT) exclusive rights to develop and commercialize a cancer biomarker identifier.

Lazard Capital Markets analyst Todd Slater upgraded American Eagle Outfitter (NYSE: AEO) to Buy citing a recent increase in sales.

Shares of U. S. Steel (NYSE: X) rose after Goldman Sachs analyst Sal Tharani upgraded the steel sector saying that prices and market conditions are improving. 

On the downside

Eight Central European countries will upgrade their mobile networks with LM Ericsson's (Nasdaq: ERIC) innovative microwave solution to increase capacity while reducing costs.

Oppenheimer analyst Ittai Kidron said that shipments of Motorola's (NYSE: MOT) Cliq are below estimates due to battery problems.

American International Group (NYSE: AIG) settled a legal dispute with former chief executive Maurice R. Greenberg by agreeing to pay up to $150 million in legal fees.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 9 to 7 on the NYSE and by more than 8 to 5 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks fell 3 points to 573.

Worries that Dubai World's debt problems will harm the fragile global economy that was just starting to recover from financial meltdown sent the markets tumbling to a lower close with the Dow plunging 154 points to 10,309. Nasdaq stumbled 37 points to 2138.

On the upside

Sea Island transferred ownership of its 3,000 acre golf course community Frederica to Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC), easing Sea Island's debt problems.  Shares of Synovus Financial (NYSE: SNV), which holds $400 million in Sea Island's debt, rose.

On the downside

Compton Petroleum (NYSE: CMZ) filed a shelf prospectus.

The accounting fraud trial for those associated with overinflating profits at Satyam Computer (NYSE: SAT) will begin next month.

DryShips (Nasdaq: DRYS) closed its offering of $460 million in senior convertible notes.

Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS) announced that it secured $1.75 billion in financing for its resort along the Cotai Strip in Macau.

MGM Mirage (NYSE: MGM) reassured investors that Dubai World's debt problems will not affect development of their $8.5 billion CityCenter project along the Las Vegas Strip.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 4 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plunged 14 points to 577.

Markets Plummet Over Dubai World Woes

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News that Dubai World must delay payment of its $60 billion worth of debt sent the markets into a tailspin with the Dow plummeting 211 points to 10,253. Nasdaq plunged 52 points to 2123.

On the upside

RBC Capital cited a recent legal settlement over royalty fees for upgrading QLT (Nasdaq: QLTI).

On the downside

Lloyds Banking (NYSE: LYG) will seek the dismissal of legal cases filed against the bank for the return of overdraft fees.

Deere (NYSE: DE) blamed significant charges for swinging to a fouth quarter loss.

IAMGOLD (NYSE: IAG) exercised all its warrants for Merrex Gold.

ING (NYSE: ING) priced an $11.2 billion rights issue at a sharp discount.

Shares of National Bank of Greece (NYSE: NBG) tumbled over concerns that the bank will have funding problems after support from the European Central Bank ends.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 10 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 8 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks tumbled 13 points to 578.

U. S. Markets Closed

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U. S. markets are closed in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.
New home sales surged while consumer spending rose lifting the markets to a higher close with the Dow rising 30 points to 10,464. Nasdaq gained 6 points to 2176.

On the upside

Labopharm (Nasdaq: DDSS) entered a $25 million standby equity distribution agreement with YA Global Master.

Bloomberg reported that China will more than double its spending on environmental protection to $454 billion through 2015 sending shares of environmental protection and remediation company RINO International (Nasdaq: RINO) soaring.

Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) widened second quarter losses but reported high demand for its Nook electronic reader.

On the downside

Wedbush Securities analyst Chris White downgraded Warner Music Group (NYSE: WMG) after the company swung to an unexpected loss for the fourth quarter.

First quarter earnings plunged for Dycom Industries (NYSE: DY) and the telecommunications contractor warned of losses in the second quarter.

China Finance Online (Nasdaq: JRJC) swung to a third quarter loss as revenue slipped.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE while decliners edged out advancers by nearly 5 to 4 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks eased a fraction to 592.

Falling Mortgage Rate Lifts Markets

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The markets traded higher during the midday with the Dow gaining 21 points to 10,454 as mortgage rates fell to match a record low. Nasdaq added 5 points to 2174.

On the upside

US Airways (NYSE: LCC) will lower capital expenditures over the next three years and increase its reserves by $450 million next year.

Deloitte ranked Yingli Green Energy (NYSE: YGE) one of its Technology Fast 50 China companies while The Asset magazine listed Yingli as part of The Asset China's Most Promising Companies 2009 award.

QLT (Nasdaq: QLTI) settled a lawsuit by agreeing to pay Massachussetts General Hospital $20 million.

On the downside

Although Vimpel-Communications (NYSE: VIP) doubled its third quarter earnings, the results fell short of expectations.

Conn's (Nasdaq: CONN) disappointed by widening third quarter losses.

Benihana (Nasdaq: BNHNA) swung to a loss for the second quarter as revenue fell.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE while advancers were on par with decliners on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a fraction to 593.

Drop In Jobless Claims Lifts Markets

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Initial applications for unemployment benefits dropped more than expected to lift the market to a modestly higher open with the Dow rising 16 points to 10,450. Nasdaq gained 6 points to 2175.

On the upside

Incyte (Nasdaq: INCY) will license two blood disorder and cancer treatments to Novartis for $150 million upfront and an additional $60 million milestone payment.

Third quarter earnings for J. Crew (NYSE: JCG) more than doubled to surpass expectations as revenue rose.

Although third quarter earnings for Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) eased, the results topped estimates and the jewelry retailer lifted its full year outlook.

On the downside

Coldwater Creek (Nasdaq: CWTR) blamed a significant tax charge for widening third quarter losses.

Dataram (Nasdaq: DRAM) widened second quarter losses even as revenue increased.

India's Central Bureau of Investigation filed more charges against ten people accused of accounting fraud at Satyam Computer (NYSE: SAY).

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

A downward revision of the nation's economic growth along with a weak reading of consumer confidence weighed the markets down to a modestly lower close with the Dow slipping 17 points to 10,433. Nasdaq lost 6 points to 2169.

On the upside

Third quarter earnings for DSW (NYSE: DSW) more than doubled to beat expectations by a wide margin prompting .

Zale (NYSE: ZLC) reported a narrower than expected loss for the first quarter.

U. S. Airways (NYSE: LCC) announced that it will delay taking delivery of 54 new jets in order to increase its cash reserves.

On the downside

Shares of Brown Shoe (Nasdaq: BWS) fell even though the company reported higher earnings that beat expectations.

Fourth quarter earnings for Hillenbrand (NYSE: HI) rose but revenue dropped and the company forecast 2010 results below estimates.

Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) completed its acquisition of Virgin Mobile USA.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 4 on the NYSE and by more than 7 to 5 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 2 points to 592.

Consumer confidence continued to languish in October while the nation's economic growth was revised downward.  The markets traded lower during the midday with the Dow falling 39 points to 10,411. Nasdaq dropped 12 points to 2163.

On the upside

Fourth quarter earnings for Nuance Communications (Nasdaq: NUAN) topped analyst estimates.

Analog Devices (NYSE: ADI) reported fourth quarter earnings and revenue that beat expectations prompting upgrades.

European Union regulators appear poised to accept an offer made by Rambus (Nasdaq: RMBS) to settle antitrust charges.

On the downside

dELiA*s (Nasdaq: DLIA) swung to a loss for the third quarter even as revenue rose.

Borders (NYSE: BGP) blamed lower sales for a bigger than expected loss for the third quarter.

Although Genesco (NYSE: GCO) reported higher third quarter results that topped estimates, the company forecast fourth quarter results below expectations.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks fell 5 points to 589.

The markets opened lower as the nation's economic growth in the third quarter was revised downward. The Dow lost 46 points to 10,404 while Nasdaq fell 10 points to 2165.

On the upside

Medtronic (NYSE: MDT) reported higher second quarter earnings that topped estimates and lifted its outlook for the year.

In a deal valued at approximately $1.1 billion, Iowa Telecommunications Services (NYSE: IWA) agreed to be acquired by Windstream (NYSE: WIN).

American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE: AEO) reported higher third quarter earnings even as revenue slipped.

On the downside

Brocade Communications Systems (Nasdaq: BRCD) blamed soaring expenses for a drop in fourth quarter earnings and warned that first quarter revenue will slow.

WSP Holdings (NYSE: WH) disappointed with sharply lower third quarter earnings and revenue.

YRC Worldwide (Nasdaq: YRCW) sold its contract carriage unit to Greatwide Logistics Services for $34 million.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 7 to 5 on the NYSE and by nearly 3 to 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks eased a fraction to 593.

The markets closed sharply higher with the Dow jumping 132 points to 10,450 as home sales surged unexpectedly in October. Nasdaq surged 29 points to 2176.

On the upside

Longbow upgraded Steelcase (NYSE: SCS) to a Buy rating.

J. P. Morgan upgraded Cigna (NYSE: CI) saying that profit margins should improve over the next few years.

Yuri Itkis Gaming Trust announced that it will make an offer to purchase all outstanding shares of FortuNet (Nasdaq: FNET).

On the downside

Fonar (Nasdaq: FONR) widened first quarter losses.

Credit Suisse analyst Brad Handler said that Weatherford International (NYSE: WFT) has cash flow problems.

Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS) raised $2.5 billion, the low end of the expected range, in the initial public offering of Sands China.

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 rose 10 points to 594.

Rebounding Home Sales Lift Markets

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A surprising rebound in home sales lifted the markets higher during the midday with the Dow leaping 130 points to 10,448. Nasdaq climbed 29 points to 2175.

On the upside

Zion Bancorp (Nasdaq: ZION) expects to receive a tax refund due to the lower values of some if its investment portfolio securities.

People's United Financial (Nasdaq: PBCT) will pay approximately $738 million in cash and stock to acquire Financial Federal (NYSE: FIF).

The Food and Drug Administration granted ARCA biopharma's (Nasdaq: ABIO) chronic heart failure treatment Gencaro fast-track status.

On the downside

Shares of TTI Team Telecom International (Nasdaq: TTIL) fell as investors locked in profits. The stock rallied last week after beating earnings estimates for the third quarter.

Empire Resorts (Nasdaq: NYNY) will no longer pursue an off-reservation gaming project in New York.

Brocade Communications Systems (Nasdaq: BRCD) delayed the release of its fourth quarter earnings until three hours after market close today.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 7 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 3 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 11 points to 596.

The markets opened higher with the Dow soaring 144 points to 10,462 as October home sales climbed more than expected to a 2 1/2 year high. Nasdaq surged 37 points to 2183.

On the upside

Origin Agritech (Nasdaq: SEED) announced over the weekend that the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture approved its genetically modified phytase corn.

LDK Solar (NYSE: LDK) posted an unexpected profit for the third quarter and forecast fourth quarter results well ahead of estimates.

KPN will pay $3 per share, up from its previous offer of $2.25 per share, to acquire the remaining 44% of iBasis (Nasdaq: IBAS) that it does not already own.

On the downside

Privately held Ception Therapeutics reported mixed clinical trial results for its esophagus inflammation treatment Cinquil. Cephalon (Nasdaq: CEPH) paid $100 million in January to Ception for an option agreement to acquire the biotechnology company.

Ciena (Nasdaq: CIEN) paid $769 million to acquire Nortel Networks' global optical networking and carrier ethernet businesses.

Peet's Coffee & Tea (Nasdaq: PEET) upped its cash and stock offer for Diedrich Coffee to $32 per share from $26 per share in response to Green Mountain's $30 per share offer.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 7 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 7 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks climbed 14 points to 598.

Investors sold off to send the markets down to a modestly lower close with the Dow losing 14 points to 10,318 over disappointing corporate earnings. Nasdaq fell 10 points to 2146.

On the upside

Kirkland (Nasdaq: KIRK) reversed year ago losses to post a profit for the third quarter as revenue rose.

Shares of Archipelago Learning (Nasdaq: ARCL) surged in its market debut.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Pfizer's (NYSE: PFE) high blood pressure treatment Revatio in an intravenous form.

On the downside

LogMeIn (Nasdaq: LOGM) priced its offering of approximately 3 million common shares at $18.50 per share.

Shares of Dycom Industries (NYSE: DY) fell ahead of its earnings release on Monday after market close.

Moody's Investors Service downgraded Sprint's (NYSE: S) corporate family rating.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 7 to 5 on the NYSE and by more than 10 to 9 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped a point to 584.

Markets Down As Earnings Disappoint

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Disappointing earnings news weighed down the markets during the midday with the Dow falling 43 points to 10,289. Nasdaq lost 16 points to 2140.

On the upside

Zumiez (Nasdaq: ZUMZ) reported lower third quarter earnings but the results topped analyst estimates.

Fourth quarter earnings and revenue for Verigy (Nasdaq: VRGY) beat expectations and the semiconductor testing company forecast first quarter results above estimates.

Synovus Financial (NYSE: SNV) reassured investors that it exceeds the capital threshold under the Supervisory Capital Assessment Program methodology.

On the downside

Novavax (Nasdaq: NVAX) will offer 6.8 million common shares in order to raise approximately $21 million.

DryShips (Nasdaq: DRYS) priced its offering of senior convertible notes at $7.19 per share.

Ford (NYSE: F) announced plans to invest approximately $2.3 billion in Brazil to increase production.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 4 points to 580.

Investors continued to cash in on recent gains as technology companies lowered their outlook.  The Dow lost 15 points to 10,317 while Nasdaq dropped a steeper 16 points to 2140.

On the upside

J.M. Smucker (NYSE: SJM) posted higher quarterly revenues and earnings that beat expectations as its Folgers coffee business reported improving margins.

Ann Taylor (NYSE: ANN) reported lower revenues and profits that topped estimates.  The women's apparel chain operator offered an outlook of continued modest sales declines.

Shares of E-Trade Financial (Nasdaq: ETFC) rose in heavy trading amid speculation of a possible takeover offer by rivals.

On the downside

Home builder D R Horton (NYSE: DHI) posted a smaller 4th quarter loss as overall revenues slumped amid an unstable housing market.

ADC Telecommunications (Nasdaq: ADCT) announced a modest quarterly loss, but investors were worried about weak 4th quarter demand from major telecom carriers.

Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) reported quarterly results that missed both revenue and earnings target.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by 3 to 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped a point to 583.

Disappointing earnings and record mortgage delinquencies weighed on investors who sold off to send the markets down to a lower close with the Dow tumbling 93 points to 10,332. Nasdaq plunged 36 points to 2156.

On the upside

TTI Team Telecom International (Nasdaq: TTIL) reversed year ago losses to post a profit for the third quarter.

New York & Co. (NYSE: NWY) narrowed third quarter losses and said that the company expects to post a profit in the fourth quarter.

Trina Solar (NYSE: TSL) reported higher third quarter earnings that surpassed expectations.

On the downside

Despite a lack of news, shares of Tix (Nasdaq: TIXC) tumbled.

China Medical Technologies (Nasdaq: CMED) swung to a loss for the second quarter as expenses climbed.

The Federal Trade Commission may sue Pre-Paid Legal Services (NYSE: PPD) for false claims made by the company's identity theft protection program.

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 stumbled 14 points to 585.

A record number of mortgage delinquencies sent the markets tumbling during the midday with the Dow plunging 131 points to 10,294. Nasdaq plummeted 41 points to 2151.

On the upside

Second quarter earnings for Network Appliance (Nasdaq: NTAP) more than doubled to top analyst estimates despite lower revenue.

Sunrise Senior Living (NYSE: SRZ) completed the sale of 21 of its assisted living communities to Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD) for approximately $204 million.

While third quarter earnings and revenue fell for Suntech Power Holdings, (NYSE: STP) the results beat expectations by a wide margin.

On the downside

Third quarter earnings for Hot Topic (Nasdaq: HOTT) fell as same store sales dropped and the retailer forecast disappointing fourth quarter results prompting a downgrade.

Microvision (Nasdaq: MVIS) will offer 6.7 million common shares at $3.00 per share.

Dick's Sporting Goods (NYSE: DKS) reported higher third quarter earnings that beat expectations but the company forecast fourth quarter results below estimates.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 1 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plunged 14 points to 585.

Stocks Open Lower on Stronger Dollar

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Investors continued to cash in on recent gains as the dollar gained strength in overnight trading.  1st time unemployment claims for last week stayed unchanged at 505,000 as job growth remained elusive.  The Dow fell 82 points to 10,343 while Nasdaq lost 24 points to 2168.

On the upside

Sears Holdings (Nasdaq: SHLD) reported lower revenues and a smaller quarterly loss due to cost cutting while same-store sales at Kmart stores nearly offsetting those at Sears department stores.

Shares of Donaldson Company (NYSE: DCI) rose after the filtration systems maker posted lower quarterly profits that beat estimates.

On the downside

Aetna (NYSE: AET) announced a 3.5% cut in its workforce due to weak economic conditions and the uncertainty of health care reform policies.

Chinese online gaming company NetEase.com (Nasdaq: NTES) reported higher revenues and profits, but the results missed analysts' estimates.

Shares of China Medical Technologies (Nasdaq: CMED) slumped after the company posted disappointing quarterly results and lowered its guidance.

Jack in the Box (Nasdaq: JACK) reported higher profits, but a drop in same-store sales worried investors.  The fast food chain operator also lowered its outlook.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 4 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 9 points to 591.

A sharp drop in home construction weighed down the markets to a modestly lower close with the Dow slipping 11 points to 10,426. Nasdaq lost 10 points to 2193.

On the upside

Shares of Fortinet (Nasdaq: FTNT) surged on its first trading day.

Solarfun Power Holdings (Nasdaq: SOLF) reversed year ago losses to post a third quarter profit as costs fell and shipments surged.

Rising dry bulk shipping rates lifted shares of Eagle Bulk Shipping (Nasdaq: EGLE) and Excel Maritime (NYSE: EXM).

On the downside

BMO downgraded Research in Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM).

Bank of America downgraded Seagate Technology (Nasdaq: STX).

Melco Crown Entertainment (Nasdaq: MPEL) widened third quarter losses despite a surge in revenue.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 4 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 2 points to 600.

An unexpected drop in home construction activity weighed down the markets during the midday with the Dow falling 58 points to 10,378. Nasdaq dropped 19 points to 2184.

On the upside

Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD) announced plans to repurchase up to $1 billion worth of senior convertible notes.

Regions Financial (NYSE: RF) will resume matching contributions to employee 401(k) plans and restart pension plan contributions.

Jiangxi International Trust and Investment Co. will pay approximately $219 million for a 15% stake in LDK Solar's (NYSE: LDK) Chinese polysilicon plant.

On the downside

Oncolytics Biotech (Nasdaq: ONCY) will offer approximately 4.25 million common shares and warrants in order to raise nearly $12.8 million.

Goldman Sachs downgraded Vimpel Communications (NYSE: VIP) saying that the stock price has more than tripled in 2009.

Merriman Curhan Ford downgraded Exelixis (NYSE: EXEL).

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 7 to 5 on the NYSE and by nearly 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped 3 points to 598.

Investors cashed in on recent gains after October housing starts fell to their lowest level in six months.   The software sector was particularly weak due to lower guidance.  The Dow gave up 43 points to 10,393 while Nasdaq tumbled 18 points to 2185.

On the upside

Smith International (NYSE: SII) offered 28 million new shares.  An analyst promptly upgraded the energy exploration company.

Vivus (Nasdaq: VVUS) announced positive late-stage results for its erectile dysfunction drug candidate.   The company also recently reported results of a promising weight loss drug.

Chico's FAS (NYSE: CHS) posted higher revenues and earnings due to strong women apparel sales.

On the downside

Design software maker Autodesk (Nasdaq: ADSK) posted 3rd quarter results that beat estimates, but lowered its outlook for the coming quarter due to higher costs.

Concur Technologies (Nasdaq: CNQR) reported higher 4th quarter results and announced the retirement of its CFO.  The company provides employee expense tracking services.

Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) posted 3rd quarter profits that doubled, but analysts were concerned about the growing headcount at the online customer relations management service provider.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 3 points to 598.

Investors lifted the markets to a modestly higher close with the Dow rising 30 points to 10,437 after analysts provided upbeat prospects for Microsoft and Exxon Mobil. Nasdaq gained 5 points to 2203.

On the upside

Shares of Poniard Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: PARD) rebounded after reporting positive trial results for its chemotherapy drug picoplatin in colorectal cancer patients. Yesterday, the company said that picoplatin failed a trial for lung cancer patients.

Tween Brands (NYSE: TWB) reversed year ago losses to post a profit for the third quarter that topped analyst estimates.

Dillard's (NYSE: DDS) swung to a third quarter profit as the company controlled inventory and welcomed a tax benefit.

On the downside

QuickLogic (Nasdaq: QUIK) announced a direct offering of approximately 4.3 million common shares.

InterMune (Nasdaq: ITMN) changed a midstage clinical trial of its experimental hepatitis C treatment citing possible liver damage.

Jacobs Engineering (NYSE: JEC) disappointed with fourth quarter earnings that missed expectations and forecast 2010 results that fell short of estimates.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 4 on both the NYSE and Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks eased a fraction to 602.

The markets traded near the flatline during the midday with the Dow adding 6 points to 10,413 over disappointing earnings. Nasdaq eased a point to 2196.

On the upside

Thoratec's (Nasdaq: THOR) new generation heart pump HeatMate II improves the survival of heart failure patients.

Although earnings slipped for Sina (Nasdaq: SINA), the results topped estimates and the company forecast upbeat fourth quarter revenue prompting an upgrade.

In a deal valued at approximately $860 million, Omega Healthcare Investors (NYSE: OHI) will purchase the majority of the healthcare net least portfolio of CapitalSource (NYSE: CSE).

On the downside

Analysts downgraded SunPower (Nasdaq: SPWRA) after the company launched an internal investigation into possible accounting errors at its manufacturing facilities in the Philippines.

Isis Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ISIS) and Genzyme (Nasdaq: GENZ) reported that their cholesterol drug met goals of a late stage clinical trial but approval applications will be delayed until mid-2011.

Smith International (NYSE: SII) will raise capital through an offering of 28 million common shares.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 4 to 3 on both the NYSE and Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a fraction to 603.

Investors took a breather from yesterday's rally to mull over the latest batch of economic data and corporate earnings reports while remaining concerned about consumer spending and job creation.  The Dow slipped 2 points to 10,404 while Nasdaq gave up a point to 2196.

On the upside

Semitool (Nasdaq: SMTL) received a $364 million all-cash acquisition offer from Applied Materials (Nasdaq: AMAT).

China-based mobile phone maker Zoom Technologies (Nasdaq: ZOOM) posted quarterly revenues that tripled and solid earnings.

Assured Guaranty (NYSE: AGO) reported a quarterly loss, but operating income was in the black.  Management offered an upbeat outlook for its municipal bond insurance business.

On the downside

Home Depot (NYSE: HD), the nation's largest home improvement retail chain, posted better than expected earnings, but revenues continued to fall due to a weak housing market.

Target (NYSE: TGT) reported higher 3rd quarter earnings and expected discounts to draw holiday foot traffic, but at the expense of profit margins.

Shares of Pacific Sunwear of California (Nasdaq: PSUN) tumbled after the outdoor apparel retailer posted lower revenues and a larger quarterly loss.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 2 to 1 on both the NYSE and Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped a point to 600.

Bernanke's Comments Spark Rally

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Comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that interest rates will likely remain low sparked a rally to send the markets soaring to a sharply higher close with the Dow leaping 136 points to 10,406. Nasdaq surged 29 points to 2197.

On the upside

Netlist (Nasdaq: NLST) will introduce its HyperCloud 16GB 2 virtual double-data-rate module at the Supercomputing 09 trade show in Portland, Oregon beginning Tuesday, November 17.

Suntech Power Holdings (NYSE: STP) announced plans to build a photovoltaic panel manufacturing plant in the Phoenix area.

Titanium Metals (NYSE: TIE) signed a five year supply agreement to provide Boeing (NYSE: BA) with titanium.

On the downside

Third quarter earnings plunged for China Architectural Engineering (Nasdaq: CAEI) as revenue dropped.

China INSOnline (Nasdaq: CHIO) reported lower first quarter revenue as clients failed to renew agreements.

Lowe's (NYSE: LOW) declared a quarterly dividend of $0.09 per share payable on February 3, 2010 to shareholders of record January 20, 2010.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 3 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks leaped 16 points to 602.

Better than expected October retail sales sent the markets soaring during the midday with the Dow jumping 134 points to 10,405. Nasdaq surged 30 points to 2198.

On the upside

Spherix (Nasdaq: SPEX) reported upbeat preliminary data from a late stage clinical trial of its oral diabetes treatment Naturlose.

GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) partnered with Nabi Biopharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: NABI) to develop Nabi's nicotine vaccine NicVAX to help smokers quit.

Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) paid down $1 billion worth of debt after Standard & Poor's warned that the company's credit rating may be cut. Separately, Credit Suisse analyst Jonathan Chaplin upgraded the wireless carrier.

On the downside

The Food and Drug Administration may not approve Neuromed Pharmaceuticals' pain medication Exalgo sending shares of CombinatoRx (Nasdaq: CRXX) plummeting. CombinatoRx and Neuromed are merging.

Law firm Stull, Stull & Brody is investigating possible violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 by the fiduciaries the 401(k) plans of MBIA (NYSE: MBI).

EntreMed (Nasdaq: ENMD) reversed year ago losses to post a modest profit as the company cut costs but the stock price fell.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 7 to 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks leaped 16 points to 602.

October retail sales received a strong boost from auto sales and stimulus programs.  The Dow surged 87 points to 10,357 while Nasdaq leaped 25 points to 2193.

On the upside

Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO) raised its bid for Norway's Tandberg which makes videoconferencing equipment from $3 billion to $3.4 billion.

Shares of Landry's Restaurants (NYSE: LNY) rose after one of its largest shareholders opposed the sale of the hotel, casino and restaurant operator to the company's CEO.

An analyst upgraded United Rentals (NYSE: URI) which rents construction equipment.

On the downside

Shares of Poniard Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: PARD) collapsed after the company reported disappointing late-stage results for its cancer drug candidate.

American Dairy (NYSE: ADY) posted higher revenues and a modest income while converting debt notes to equity.  Investors took profits on the China-based maker of infant formula and soybean products.

Universal Travel Group (NYSE: UTA) reported higher revenues and earnings slipped.  The company provides ticketing and travel packages in China.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 1 on the NYSE and by 4 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 10 points to 596.

Higher Close Over Upbeat Earnings

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Despite a drop in consumer confidence, the markets closed higher with the Dow rising 73 points to 10,270 over upbeat earnings. Nasdaq gained 18 points to 2167.

On the upside

Third quarter earnings for Yingli Green Energy (NYSE: YGE) due to low prices but the results topped analyst estimates.

Shares of Netlist (Nasdaq: NLST) continued soaring after the company introduced HyperCloud, the world's first 16GB, 2 virtual rank memory modules for servers.

Rino International (NYSE: RINO) reported sharply higher third quarter earnings as revenue surged.

On the downside

Emergent BioSolutions (NYSE: EBS) completed its acquisition of a manufacturing facility in Baltimore for $8.2 million.

Astrotech (Nasdaq: ASTC) reported higher first quarter earnings as revenue rose but the stock price fell.

Borders (NYSE: BGP) will close 200 stores in January, 2010.  

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

Upbeat Earnings Lift Markets

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Investors focused on upbeat earnings to lift the markets higher during the midday with the Dow gaining 84 points to 10,281. Nasdaq climbed 19 points to 2168.

On the upside

Teen apparel retailer Rue21 (Nasdaq: RUE) made its market debut.

Silicon Storage Technology (Nasdaq: SSTI) will be taken private by Technology Resource Holdings in an all cash deal.

Assured Guaranty (NYSE: AGO) responded to a ratings downgrade by Moody's by vowing to maintain the highest possible ratings.

On the downside

Liberty Global (Nasdaq: LBTYA) will pay approximately $3 billion to acquire German cable company Unitymedia.

Merge Healthcare (Nasdaq: MRGE) will sell 9 million common shares to pay down debt.

Lakeland Financial (Nasdaq: LKFN) priced its offering of 3.5 million shares of common stock at $17 per share.  

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 7 points to 587.

The U.S. trade deficit widened to $36.5 billion due to a large increase in imports that outpaced export growth, according to the Commerce Department.  Investors also focused on corporate earnings which helped to lift the Dow up 26 points to 10,224 while Nasdaq added 7 points to 2155.

On the upside

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) posted better than expected quarterly profits due to strength in its cable, broadcast and movie businesses.

Teen clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF) reported lower revenues and profits, but the results beat expectations.

J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP) announced lower profits due to one-time pension-related charges, but the department store operator also boosted its outlook.

On the downside

Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN) posted quarterly earnings that missed estimates.  The stock fell despite the high-end department store operator's favorable guidance.

Zagg (Nasdaq: ZAGG) reported higher revenues from mobile accessories sales, but margins were curbed by a decline in website sales.

Shares of Esco Technologies (NYSE: ESE) fell after the engineering and manufacturing firm announced lower profits and offered a disappointing outlook.  An analyst promptly downgraded the stock.  

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose a point to 581.

A record federal deficit in October weighed down the markets to a lower close with the Dow tumbling 93 points to 10,197. Nasdaq dropped 17 points to 2149.

On the upside

Dow Chemical (NYSE: DOW) and DuPont partnered to develop soybeans that are herbicide tolerant.

According to a Bloomberg report, Iconix Brands (Nasdaq: ICON) entered discussions to acquire Playboy Enterprises (NYSE: PLA).

Jamba (Nasdaq: JMBA) reversed year ago losses to post a profit for the third quarter due to cost cutting measures.

On the downside

Although Aegon (NYSE: AEG) swung to a profit for the third quarter, the results fell short of expectations.

Northwest Pipe (Nasdaq: NWPX) delayed its third quarter earnings release and warned of a $1 million loss.

Shares of Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) fell after the Federal Reserve announced a new rule which requires customer consent for banks can charge significant overdraft fees on ATM and debit card transactions.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 3 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plunged 12 points to 580.

The markets slipped during the midday with the Dow falling 47 points to 10,244 after Wal-Mart reported a drop in same store sales. Nasdaq lost 5 points to 2161.

On the upside

Netlist (Nasdaq: NLST) launched its HyperCloud 16GB, 2 virtual rank memory module for servers.

Churchill Downs (Nasdaq: CHDN) will pay approximately $126.4 million in cash and stock to acquire Youbet.com (Nasdaq: UBET).

China Automotive Systems (Nasdaq: CAAS) impressed with record earnings and revenue for the third quarter.

On the downside

Arigene requested that Trimeris (Nasdaq: TRMS) extend its tender offer in order for Arigene to secure sufficient funds to complete its acquistion of Trimeris.

Boise (NYSE: BZ) will commence a secondary offering of 17 million common shares.

Goldman Sachs cited limited earnings growth for initiating coverage of teen apparel retailer Buckle (NYSE: BKE) with a Sell rating.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks fell 5 points to 586.

1st time unemployment claims for the last week were expected to fall as the economy slowly recovered.  Meanwhile, investors were focused on Hewlett-Packard's bid for 3Com. The Dow lost 6 points to 10,284 while Nasdaq edged up 3 points to 2170.

On the upside

3Com (Nasdaq: COMS) received a $2.7 billion takeover bid from Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) to help the computing giant expand its networking equipment product line.  Shares of Brocade Communications (Nasdaq: BROC) fell as speculation ended that the networking gear was also targeted by HP for an acquisition.

Advance Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD) settled all legal disputes with its chip-making rival Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) by getting a $1.25 billion payout.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT) reported higher revenues and 3rd quarter profits while raising its outlook for the year.  Sales at U.S stores opened for at least a year edged lower, but overseas growth picked up the difference.

On the downside

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (Nasdaq: GMCR) posted 4th quarter profits that doubled, but lowered its guidance for the 1st quarter.

Tetra Tech (Nasdaq: TTEK) reported better than expected 4th quarter results, but offered an earnings outlook that missed analysts' estimates.  The company provides engineering services.

James River Coal (Nasdaq: JRCC) raised $125 million in convertible senior notes.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a slim margin on the NYSE, but were narrowly edged out on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a point to 593.

Dollar Extends Slide, Markets Up

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The dollar extended its slide to lift the markets to a modestly higher close with the Dow gaining 44 points to 10,291. Nasdaq rose 15 points to 2166.

On the upside

Third quarter earnings for Diana Shipping (NYSE: DSX) plunged by half but the results topped analyst estimates.

Sonic Solutions (Nasdaq: SNIC) and Entone announced a partnership to deliver a comprehensive entertainment solution powered by Roxio CinemaNow.

Hovnanian (NYSE: HOV) said that a tax law change will result in a tax benefit in the first two quarters of 2010.

On the downside

Helicos BioSciences (Nasdaq: HLCS) will no longer sell itself but will continue to consider other strategic alternatives to increase shareholder value.

Although third quarter earnings rose for Flowers Foods (NYSE: FLO), revenue fell short of estimates due to heavy discounting and the company cut its guidance for the year.

Pike Electric (NYSE: PIKE) disappointed by swinging to a wider than expected loss for the first quarter prompting the company to withdraw its outlook .  

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose 5 points to 592.

The markets traded modestly higher during the midday with the Dow gaining 41 points to 10,288 over indications that the Federal Reserve will continue to hold down interest rates. Nasdaq rose 13 points to 2164.

On the upside

Third quarter earnings surged for China Housing & Land Development (Nasdaq: CHLN) as revenue tripled.

Deutsche Bank upgraded Smithfield Foods (NYSE: SFD) to a Buy rating and lifted its price target on the company.

Sanofi-Aventis (NYSE: SNY) extended its development deal with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals(Nasdaq: REGN) through 2017.

On the downside

While JA Solar (Nasdaq: JASO) reversed year ago losses to swing to a third quarter profit, the company reported lower revenue and warned that prices will continue to drop in the fourth quarter.

Collins Stewart downgraded Sigma Designs (Nasdaq: SIGM) to a Sell rating saying that the chip maker may lose market share to rival Broadcom (Nasdaq: BRCM).

Although Macy's (NYSE: M) narrowed third quarter losses, the department store forecast fourth quarter results well below analyst estimates.  

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 3 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 4 points to 591.

Encouraged by economic growth and stimulus in China and Japan, investors continued to buy stocks across the board.   The Dow rose 78 points to 10,325 while Nasdaq surged 24 points to 2175.

On the upside

United Parcel Service (NYSE: UPS) announced plans to hike shipping rates for 2010 and hinted at sustainable revenue growth.   Share of rival Fedex (NYSE: FDX) also gained ground.

Toll Brothers (NYSE: TOL) posted lower 4th quarter revenues, but the luxury home builder noted that few buyers backed out of contracts.

Shares of Semiconductor Manufacturing International (NYSE: SMI) soared after the chipmaker settled all pending lawsuits with Taiwan Semiconductor (NYSE: TSM).

On the downside

Macy's (NYSE: M) posted a smaller 3rd quarter loss and raised its sales and profit outlook for the rest of the year, but the forecast missed analysts' expectations.

Adobe (Nasdaq: ADBE) announced job cuts to reduce 9% of its workforce due to slow sales of its Photoshop, Flash and Acrobat software programs.

Nationwide wireless data network Clearwire (Nasdaq: CLWR) received a nearly $1.2 billion investment from Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S).  

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by 3 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 7 points to 594.

Mixed Close As Oil Retreats

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It was a mixed close for the markets with the Dow rising 20 points to 10,246 as oil prices retreated while home prices continued to fall. Nasdaq slipped 2 points to 2151.

On the upside

Home Inns & Hotels Management (Nasdaq: HMIN) reported sharply higher third quarter earnings as revenue climbed.

Monsanto (NYSE: MON) reaffirmed its 2010 guidance and announced that the launch of new corn and soybean products has been accelerated.

Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) launched its redesigned online B&N Kids Store for the holiday shopping season. 

On the downside

Opnext (Nasdaq: OPXT) disappointed with a second quarter loss that was greater than expected.

MBIA (NYSE: MBI) blamed the continued slump in the housing market for a third quarter loss.

United Rentals (NYSE: URI) announced an offering of $572.5 million in senior convertible notes.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 4 to 3 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 5 points to 586.

Falling Home Prices Weigh Down Markets

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Falling home prices weighed down the markets during the midday with the Dow losing 17 points to 10,209. Nasdaq fell 10 points to 2143.

On the upside

Third quarter earnings for Talecris Biotherapeutics (Nasdaq: TLCR) surged as revenue rose.

Moody's Investors Service said that American International Group's (NYSE: AIG) restructuring plan is working and that the insurance company should be able to repay the government.

Argus upgraded Health Management Associates (NYSE: HMA) to a Buy rating. 

On the downside

RHI Entertainment (Nasdaq: RHIE) widened third quarter losses by a wide margin as revenue plunged.

ParkerVision (Nasdaq: PRKR) reported a third quarter loss and priced its offering of 8 million common shares at $2 per share.

Ambac Financial (NYSE: ABK) warned that it may not be able to meet debt obligations in 2011 forcing the bond insurer to possibly file for bankruptcy.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks fell 7 points to 584.

The dollar rose against other major currencies to curb the appetite of foreign investors buying into the U.S. stock market.  Oil prices hovered right below the $80 a barrel mark as Ida made landfall as a tropical storm.  The Dow rose 13 points to 10,240 while Nasdaq added 3 points to 2157.

On the upside

Beazer Homes USA (NYSE: BZH) posted sharply lower 4th quarter revenues along with a profit due to a one-time gain from prepayment of debt.  The home-building sector enjoyed a rally with analysts expecting a rebound in the housing market.

Bank of America's (NYSE: BAC) outgoing CEO Ken Lewis told an audience that the Merrill acquisition generated $2.2 billion in cost savings which was more than expected.

Priceline (Nasdaq: PCLN) posted sharply higher revenues and 3rd quarter profits that tripled as more travelers booked flights and hotels by going online. 

On the downside

Bond insurer MBIA (NYSE: MBI) posted large quarterly losses due to underperforming mortgage-related investments.

Electronic Arts (NYSE: ERTS) announced a quarterly loss and plans to cut its workforce by 17% even as the video game maker expanded into online gaming.

An analyst downgraded GT Solar International (Nasdaq: SOLR) which reported lower 2nd quarter profits.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a slim margin on the NYSE and were narrowly edged out on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a point to 593.

The markets rallied to close sharply higher with the Dow leaping 203 points to 10,226 as investors embraced news that the Group of 20 will continue to aid the world economy. Nasdaq surged 41 points to 2154.

On the upside

EOn Communications (Nasdaq: EONC) reversed year ago losses to post a profit for the fourth quarter.

Developers Diversified Realty (NYSE: DDR) announced that Daniel B. Hurwitz will succeed Scott A. Wolstein as president and chief executive officer on January 1, 2010.

Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS) expects to raise as much as $3.35 billion when it offers shares of its Macau unit on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

On the downside

While third quarter revenue for China Natural Gas (Nasdaq: CNG) rose, earnings fell.

RadNet (Nasdaq: RDNT) swung to a loss for the third quarter.

Cogent Communications (Nasdaq: CCOI) narrowed third quarter losses but revenue fell short of expectations.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks climbed 11 points to 592.

Falling Dollar Lifts Markets

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The markets continued to advance during the midday with the Dow soaring 152 points to 10,176 as the dollar fell further. Nasdaq jumped 31 points to 2144.

On the upside

Credit Suisse analyst Arun Jayaram upgraded offshore drilling services company Hercules Offshore (Nasdaq: HERO) and lifted his price target.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) will invest over $1 billion into Clearwire (Nasdaq: CLWR).

Moody's Investors Service lifted its debt rating on TRW Automotive (NYSE: TRW) citing improving operating performance.

On the downside

Third quarter revenue fell for Sunrise Senior Living (NYSE: SRZ).

Goldman Sachs issued a Sell rating for Lexmark International (NYSE: LXK) citing gains in the stock price.

Shares of Fuqi International (Nasdaq: FUQI) fell despite higher third quarter earnings and revenue.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 7 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 9 points to 590.

World economic leaders agreed to keep economic stimulus in place.  Meanwhile, oil prices edged higher to $78 as Hurricane Ida continued to threaten oil operations in the Gulf of Mexico.  The Dow rose 77 points to 10,100 while Nasdaq surged 25 points to 2138.

On the upside

McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) posted flat U.S. October sales, but global revenues for the world's largest fast-food chain rose.

East West Bancorp (Nasdaq: EWBC) took over United Commercial Bank branches which were seized by regulators on Friday.  East West also completed a $500 million capital raise through a private placement.

Revlon (NYSE: REV) arranged a $330 million credit facility to refinance its senior notes.  An analyst promptly upgraded the stock.

An analyst upgraded Radio Shack (NYSE: RSH) after the electronics retail chain operator announced plans to sell the iPhone made by Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL).

On the downside

Chindex International (Nasdaq: CHDX) posted flat revenues and a small profit due to modest demand for its healthcare services.

Gray Television (NYSE: GTN) posted sharply lower revenues and a quarterly loss due to declining advertising dollars.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 5 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 3 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose 8 points to 589.

Despite a gain in the unemployment rate, the markets rose to close modestly higher with the Dow climbing 17 points to 10,023 as crude oil prices slipped. Nasdaq rose 7 points to 2112.

On the upside

Magna International (NYSE: MGA) reported an unexpected profit for the third quarter prompting an upgrade.

Shares of airline stocks AirTran Holdings (NYSE: AAI), Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) and US Airways Group (NYSE: LCC) all rose as crude oil prices retreated.

KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Tahira Afzal upgraded Willbros Group (NYSE: WG) citing improving operations.

On the downside

Move (Nasdaq: MOVE) reported lower third quarter revenue prompting a downgrade.

Sapient (Nasdaq: SAPE) blamed special charges for third quarter earnings that plummeted.

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (NYSE: RRGB) blamed the economic downturn for lower third quarter revenue and earnings.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 10 to 9 on the NYSE and while decliners edged out advancers by more than 10 to 9 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks eased a fraction to 580.

Upbeat earnings reports and retreating oil prices tempered news that the nation's unemployment rate surged to a 26 year high.  The markets traded modestly higher during the midday with the Dow rising 12 points to 10,018 while Nasdaq added 5 points to 2110.

On the upside

Analysts upgraded General Electric (NYSE: GE) and raised their price targets for the company.

Blackstone Group (NYSE: BX) reversed year ago losses to post a better than expected profit for the third quarter.

Ocean Power Technologies (Nasdaq: OPTT) won a grant from the Australian government to build a wave energy project.

On the downside

Although a one time tax gain boosted third quarter earnings for Crocs (Nasdaq: CROX), the plastic shoe maker warned of greater than expected losses for the fourth quarter.

AIG (NYSE: AIG) reversed year ago losses to post a profit for the third quarter but warned of continued weakness.

Sunoco (NYSE: SUN) disappointed by swinging to a sharp loss for the third quarter due to weak margins.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 5 to 4 on the NYSE and and by nearly 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 3 points to 577.

The U.S. unemployment rate rose to 10.2% in October as companies continued to cut positions to increase worker productivity.   The Dow lost 20 points to 9986 while Nasdaq edged up a point to 2106.

On the upside

Video game developer Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI) posted lower revenues and a quarterly profit while raising its outlook to reflect a solid upcoming holiday shopping season.

International Game Technology (NYSE: IGT) reported a quarterly loss, but the slot machine maker highlighted revenues from casinos replacing aging equipment.

Shares of LivePerson (Nasdaq: LPSN) rose after the online conferencing company posted higher revenues and income.

On the downside

AIG (NYSE: AIG) announced a quarterly profit, but expected to take a $5 billion charge in the 4th quarter to write down the spin-off of two life insurance units.

Coinstar (Nasdaq: CSTR) reported higher revenues and profits, but missed analysts' estimates.

Shares of Geokentics (NYSE: GOK) fell after the seismic data measurement company posted revenues and earnings that missed expectations.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a narrow margin on the NYSE and were even on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a point to 582.

Investors embraced upbeat economic data to lift the markets to a sharply higher close with the Dow rocketing 203 points to 10,005. Nasdaq surged 49 points to 2105.

On the upside

Third quarter earnings and revenue climbed for DG FastChannel (Nasdaq: DGIT).

Sotheby's (NYSE: BID) declared a quarterly dividend of $0.05 per share payable on December 15, 2009 to shareholders of record December 1, 2009.

Jo-Ann Stores (NYSE: JAS) lifted its third quarter outlook as well as its full year guidance.

On the downside

Shares of Ambac Financial (NYSE: ABK) tumbled as investors locked in profits from yesterday's rally.

Aeropostale (NYSE: ARO) reported a disappointingly small 3% increase in same store sales. Analysts were expecting a much greater gain of 13.8%.

Although third quarter earnings for MetroPCS (NYSE: PCS) rose, the company lowered its subscriber forecast for the year.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by 7 to 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks leaped 18 points to 581.

Increased worker productivity and lower than expected jobless claims sent the markets soaring during the midday with the Dow leaping 179 points to 9981. Nasdaq jumped 45 points to 2100.

On the upside

Sanmina-SCI (Nasdaq: SANM) narrowed fourth quarter losses and forecast first quarter results above expectations.

Although Lamar (Nasdaq: LAMR) swung to a third quarter loss, the results were better than expected and the company forecast fourth quarter revenue ahead of analyst estimates.

In a deal valued at approximately $5.2 billion, TPG Capital and CPP Investment Board will acquire IMS Health (NYSE: RX).

On the downside

Delta Petroleum (Nasdaq: DPTR) swung to a wider than expected loss for the third quarter.

October same store sales for American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE: AEO) dropped. Analysts were anticipating a gain in sales.

Third quarter funds from operations plunged for Kimco Realty (NYSE: KIM) as occupancy rates fell prompting the strip mall owner to cut its full year outlook.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 7 to 2 on the NYSE and by more than 3 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 13 points to 576.

First-time unemployment claims fell to 512,000 last week, according to the latest Labor Department report.   Meanwhile, tech stocks rallied on the heels of a positive outlook from Cisco Systems.  The Dow surged nearly 100 points to 9900 while Nasdaq leaped 25 points to 2081.

On the upside

Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO) reported lower profits that beat expectations and offered a modest growth picture for 2010.  Analysts had been predicting a small decline in revenues.

An analyst upgraded Louisiana Pacific (NYSE: LPX) after the wood-products maker posted lower sales and a smaller loss.

Shares of Fuel Systems Solutions (Nasdaq: FSYS) soared after the company posted higher revenues and profits while raising its outlook.

On the downside

CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS) posted higher 3rd quarter profits, but its pharmacy benefits unit sharply contracted over the last several months.

Smith Micro Software (Nasdaq: SMSI) managed to post a small quarterly profit, but warned that overall revenue numbers may be lower for the year.

Shares of Whole Foods Market (Nasdaq: WFMI) slumped after the organic grocer posted slightly higher revenues and earnings, but promotions to attract shoppers may hurt margins in the 4th quarter.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 3 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks leaped 11 points to 574.

It was a mixed close for the markets with the Dow gaining 30 points to 9802 despite upbeat economic news as investors continue to fret about the economic recovery. Nasdaq eased a point to 2055.

On the upside

While third quarter earnings for Digital River (Nasdaq: DRIV) slipped, the results topped analyst estimates prompting an upgrade.

RehabCare Group (NYSE: RHB) will pay approximately $570 million to acquire Triumph Healthcare.

National Financial Partners (NYSE: NFP) reported sharply higher third quarter earnings that beat expectations.

On the downside

Jakks Pacific (Nasdaq: JAKK) announced a private placement of senior convertible notes to raise $85 million.

Conway (NYSE: CNW) reported sharply lower revenue and earnings that fell short of estimates.

Third quarter earnings for Charles River Laboratories (NYSE: CRL) fell as revenue dropped and the company lowered its full year guidance.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 4 on the NYSE while declining issues edged out advancers by more than 3 to 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks tumbled 7 points to 563.

A second month of expansion in the nation's services sector boosted the markets higher during the midday with the Dow soaring 115 points to 9887. Nasdaq gained 12 points to 2070.

On the upside

Ambac Financial (NYSE: ABK) reversed year ago losses to post a healthy profit for the third quarter.

Although Mueller Water Products (NYSE: MWA) swung to a fourth quarter loss, the results were better than analyst expectations.

Solera Holdings (NYSE: SLH) reported better than expected first quarter earnings and lifted its full year guidance.

On the downside

Clarient (Nasdaq: CLRT) disappointed with a loss for the third quarter.

Although Garmin (Nasdaq: GRMN) reported better than expected earnings for the third quarter, the stock price dropped over concerns that Google has entered the personal navigation device market.

Vonage Holdings (NYSE: VG) widend third quarter losses.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 2 on the NYSE while declining issues were on par with advancers on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks eased a fraction to 569.

The October ADP National Employment Report indicated 203,000 jobs in the private sector lost versus 227,000 in the September.  The better than expected results lifted stocks.  The Dow climbed 96 points to 9868 while Nasdaq added 16 points to 2074.

On the upside

Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) posted a decline in quarterly earnings, but the results beat expectations.   Meanwhile, the media conglomerate reported that it was on track to spin off its AOL operations.

Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) reported higher revenues and earnings, but a rally in stock price was limited by anxiety about debt arising from a possible stake in NBC Universal.

Pacer International (Nasdaq: PACR) posted a small, but unexpected 3rd quarter profit and announced a new contract with railroad Union Pacific.

On the downside

Jeans maker True Religion Apparel (Nasdaq: TRLG) posted lower 3rd quarter profits on higher sales to miss expectations.

Shares of flash memory maker Stec (Nasdaq: STEC) tumbled on worries that inventory decisions by EMC (NYSE: EMC), a major customer, may impact 1st quarter results.

An analyst downgraded Maxwell Technologies (Nasdaq: MXWL) following yesterday's report of higher revenues and a smaller loss.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by 4 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks edged up a point to 571.

The markets closed mixed with the Dow losing 17 points to 9771 as rising oil prices tempered an upbeat factory orders report. Nasdaq gained 8 points to 2057.

On the upside

U. S. Energy (Nasdaq: USEG) announced that its BCD Farms 16-21 #1H well produced approximately 1,553 barrels of oil and 1.34 MMCF of natural gas each day.

Hecla Mining (NYSE: HL) impressed with third quarter earnings and revenue that surpassed analyst expectations by a wide margin.

Avis Budget Group (NYSE: CAR) reversed year ago losses to post a profit for the third quarter even as revenue dropped.

On the downside

Third quarter earnings and revenue for Technitrol (NYSE: TNL) plummeted due to the economic slump.

RTI International Metals (NYSE: RTI) blamed a drop in prices and decreasing shipments for a wider than expected loss for the third quarter.

Ness Technologies (Nasdaq: NSTC) disappointed with third quarter earnings that fell short of estimates and cut its guidance for the full year.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 3 to 2 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks climbed 8 points to 570.

The markets traded in negative territory during the midday with the Dow slipping 24 points to 9764 despite an upbeat factory orders report and rising auto sales. Nasdaq eased a point to 2048.

On the upside

Peet's Coffee & Tea (Nasdaq: PEET) will pay approximately $213 million to acquire Diedrich Coffee (Nasdaq: DDRX).

Texas Roadhouse (Nasdaq: TXRH) reported higher third quarter earnings that topped estimates as revenue rose prompting upgrades.

Stanley Works (NYSE: SWK) will acquire Black & Decker (NYSE: BDK) in an all stock deal valued at approximately $4.5 billion.

On the downside

Chelsea Therapeutics (Nasdaq: CHTP) reported a loss for the third quarter.

Standard & Poor's Ratings lowered YRC Worldwide's (Nasdaq: YRCW) credit rating further into junk status after the compnay announced a debt exchange offering.

Cedar Fair Entertainment (NYSE: FUN) reported higher third quarter income but the results fell short of expectations.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 10 to 9 on the NYSE and by more than 9 to 7 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a point to 564.

Investors took some profits off the table ahead of the latest factory orders report.  Meanwhile,  mergers and acquisitions took the spotlight.  The Dow lost 48 points to 9740 while Nasdaq gave up 10 points to 2038.

On the upside

Berkshire Hathaway offered $100 a share to Burlington Northern Santa Fe (NYSE: BNI), the nation's 2nd largest railroad operator.

Cablevision Systems (NYSE: CVC) posted 3rd quarter profits that tripled as voice subscribers topped 2 million.

Shares of Medco Health Solutions (NYSE: MHS) rose after the largest U.S. pharmacy benefits manager posted higher quarterly profits and raised its 2010 earnings outlook.

Viacom (NYSE: VIA) reported lower revenues and higher profits due to cost-cutting efforts and solid video game and home entertainment sales.

On the downside

Energizer (NYSE: ENR) posted lower sales and earnings due to sluggish battery sales that outweighed growing personal care product sales.

A Morgan Stanley analyst downgraded chip giant Intel (Nasdaq: INTC).

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers 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 lost 5 points to 557.

Better than expected expansion of manufacturing activity lifted the markets to a higher close with the Dow rising 76 points to 9789. Nasdaq added 4 points to 2049.

On the upside

Raymond James analyst Daryl Swetlishoff upgraded Domtar (NYSE: UFS) after the paper maker reported surprisingly strong third quarter results on Friday.

A unit of Revlon (NYSE: REV) is in discussions to amend its credit agreements.

Shares of Entercom Communications (NYSE: ETM) rose ahead of its earnings release after market close.

On the downside

CapitalSource (NYSE: CSE) swung to a larger than expected third quarter loss due to significant loan loss provisions.

Although Dean Foods (NYSE: DF) reported higher third quarter earnings, the company's outlook disappointed.

Modine Manufacturing (NYSE: MOD) executive vice president, chief financial officer and director Bradley C. Richardson resigned.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 4 on the NYSE while decliners edged out advancers by nearly 10 to 9 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks eased a fraction to 562.

The markets retreated during the midday with the Dow falling 15 points to 9696 as financial stocks dropped. Nasdaq tumbled 18 points to 2026.

On the upside

Amylin Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: AMLN) entered a partnership with Takeda Pharmaceutical to develop weight loss treatments.

Vertex (Nasdaq: VRTX) reported that its hepatitis C treatment was nearly as effective given twice a day as three times a day.

Encore Acquisition (NYSE: EAC) and Denbury Resources (NYSE: DNR) announced merger plans.

On the downside

YRC Worldwide (Nasdaq: YRCW) announced a debt exchange offer.

The Food and Drug Administration denied approval for GTx's (Nasdaq: GTXI) fracture reducing drug for prostate cancer patients.

Q-Cells terminated its supply contract with LDK Solar (NYSE: LDK).

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 4 to 3 on the NYSE and by 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks dropped 6 points to 569.

Blue chips rose while tech stocks were stagnant as investors awaited the latest reports on manufacturing and housing.  The Dow added 34 points to 9747 while Nasdaq slipped 3 points to 2041.

On the upside

Ford (NYSE: F) posted a surprise quarterly profit of $1 billion due to reduced interest expenses and growing market share in the automotive industry.

Human Genome Sciences (Nasdaq: HGSI) and GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) announced positive results for its lupus drug treatment and planned to get FDA approval in 2010.

An analyst upgraded Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) to give its shares a lift.

On the downside

Commercial lender CIT (NYSE: CIT) filed for bankruptcy on Sunday after struggling for months to refinance its debt load.

An analyst downgraded makers of smartphones and handsets.  Shares of Research in Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) and Palm (Nasdaq: PALM) fell.

Chinese Internet companies may not grow as quickly due to piracy worries stifling innovation.  Shares of Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU), Sohu.com (Nasdaq: SOHU) and Netease.com (Nasdaq: NTES) lost ground.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by 5 to 4 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 2 points to 567.

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