March 2010 Archives

Despite a greater than expected gain in factory orders last month, the markets closed lower with the Dow falling 50 points to 10,856 as crude oil prices rose. Nasdaq dropped 12 points to 2397.

 

On the upside

Shares of Meru Networks (Nasdaq: MERU) surged on its first day of trading.

Overstock (Nasdaq: OSTK) reversed year ago losses to post a profit for the fourth quarter.

Newcastle Investment (NYSE: NCT) declared a quarterly dividend on its preferred stock payable on April 30, 2010 to shareholders of record April 9, 2010.

On the downside

Hudson Highland Group (Nasdaq: HHGP) priced its offering of 4.2 million common shares at $4.35 per share.

K-V Pharmaceutical (NYSE: KV-A) eliminated 289 positions, approximately 42% of its work force.

Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) removed the Linksys brand from its new line of routers.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 7 to 5 on the NYSE and by 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 5 points to 678.

Manufacturing Activity Slips

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Manufacturing activity slipped in the Midwest to weigh down the markets during the midday with the Dow losing 17 points to 10,889. Nasdaq added a point to 2411.

 

On the upside

Air Transport Services (Nasdaq: ATSG) announced new long term agreements to provide DHL with aircraft and operating support.

Clean Energy Fuels (Nasdaq: CLNE) will provide compressed natural gas fueling stations for AT&T's nationwide fleet of CNG vehicles.

Mortgage defaults fell in February lifting shares of mortgage insurers PMI Group (NYSE: PMI), Radian Group (NYSE: RDN), and MGIC Investment (NYSE: MTG).

On the downside

SmartHeat (Nasdaq: HEAT) reported record revenue and earnings for 2009 but the stock price tumbled as investors locked in profits.

Ford's (NYSE: F) health care fund began selling 362 million warrants.

Shares of Borders Group (NYSE: BGP) fell ahead of its deadline tomorrow to repay a $42.5 million loan.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by 10 to 9 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a point to 685.

Job Losses Weigh Down Markets

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An unexpectedly large number of job losses in March weighed the markets down to a lower open with the Dow falling 55 points to 10,852. Nasdaq lost 6 points to 2404.

 

On the upside

ArQule (Nasdaq: ARQL) reported upbeat results from a mid-stage clinical trial of its lung cancer treatment ARQ 197.

FSI International (Nasdaq: FSII) reversed year ago losses to post a second quarter profit and forecast income for the third quarter.

Bank of Ireland (NYSE: IRE) reassured investors that it will be able to raise necessary capital through the private sector.

On the downside

Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD) narrowed fourth quarter losses but fell short of estimates and warned of greater losses for fiscal 2011.

While fourth quarter earnings for SAIC (NYSE: SAI) rose, the results missed expectations and the company lowered its guidance for fiscal 2011.

Fourth quarter earnings for A-Power Energy (Nasdaq: APWR) topped estimates but the company forecast 2010 results far short of analyst expectations.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 7 to 5 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks eased a fraction to 683.

A rebound in consumer confidence lifted the markets to a modestly higher close with the Dow rising 11 points to 10,907. Nasdaq gained 6 points to 2410.

 

On the upside

Food Technology Service (Nasdaq: VIFL) reported higher full year earnings as revenue rose.

TerreStar (Nasdaq: TSTR) regained compliance with NASDAQ.

J. P. Morgan upgraded Westlake Chemical (NYSE: WLK) saying that prices for some of the company's products will rise.

On the downside

Gammon Gold (NYSE: GRS) reported higher fourth quarter earnings but the stock price fell as investors locked in profits.

KHD Humboldt Wedag International (NYSE: KHD) will split into two companies to be named Terra Nova, which will begin trading tomorrow on the New York Stock Exchange under the new symbol TTT, and KID, which will trade on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under the symbol KWG.

Fourth quarter and full year results rose for ZST Digital Networks (Nasdaq: ZSTN) but the stock price tumbled as investors locked in profits.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 10 to 9 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a point to 683.

The markets retreated to trade lower during the midday with the Dow slipping 7 points to 10,888 even as consumer confidence recovered in March. Nasdaq eased a fraction to 2403.

 

On the upside

Ocean Bio-Chem (Nasdaq: OBCI) reported record earnings and record sales for 2009.

Rodman & Renshaw initiated coverage of Opexa Therapeutics (Nasdaq: OPXA) with a Market Outperform rating and set a price target of $6 on the biopharmaceutical.

The Irish government will purchase 1.93 billion euros worth of loans from the Bank of Ireland (NYSE: IRE) at a discount.

On the downside

Charming Shoppes (Nasdaq: CHRS) narrowed fourth quarter losses but reported lower same store sales in the first quarter.

Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Timothy Horan downgraded Neutral Tandem (NYSE: TNDM) after the patent office rejected 23 claims made about a patent held by Neutral Tandem.

Citibank (NYSE: C) granted Zale (NYSE: ZLC) an extra month to either pay a fee for low sales on its private label credit cards or end the program.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 10 to 9 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks eased a fraction to 681.

The markets opened higher with the Dow rising 34 points to 10,931 as home prices slipped by the smallest amount in nearly three years. Nasdaq gained 9 points to 2413.

 

On the upside

Microsemi will acquire White Electronic Designs (Nasdaq: WEDC) for approximately $163 million in cash.

Danaher (NYSE: DHR) lifted its outlook for the first quarter to top analyst estimates.

The Wall Street Journal reported that a version of Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) popular iPhone will be available on Verizon (NYSE: VZ) this summer.

On the downside

GenVec (Nasdaq: GNVC) ended a Phase 3 clinical trial of its pancreatic cancer treatment TNFerade saying that the drug was ineffective.

While LDK Solar (NYSE: LDK) narrowed losses for the fourth quarter, the results fell short of analyst expectations.

Stifel Nicolaus downgraded Maguire Properties (NYSE: MPG).

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 3 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 4 points to 686.

Rising commodities prices lifted the markets to a higher close with the Dow gaining 45 points to 10,895. Nasdaq rose 9 points to 2404.

 

On the upside

Servidyne (Nasdaq: SERV) announced that it landed an $8.7 million contract to upgrade 600 stores and distribution centers for energy efficiency.

A Barron's article said that China Yuchai (NYSE: CYD) is expected to post a sharp increase in earnings and highlighted the company's attractive valuation.

Goldman Sachs placed CB Richard Ellis Group (NYSE: CBG) on its Americas conviction Buy list.

On the downside

Shares of Borders Group (NYSE: BGP) dropped as the Thursday deadline to repay a $42.5 million loan neared.

The Treasury Department said that it will unload 7.7 billion shares Citigroup (NYSE: C) according to an orderly and measured plan.

Ford (NYSE: F) finalized plans to sell its Volvo unit to Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding and announced plans to sell 362.4 million warrants to purchase common shares in order to raise capital to pay for retiree medical benefits.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by more than 9 to 7 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose 3 points to 682.

Consumer spending rose in February marking the fifth month in a row of gains to lift the markets higher during the midday with the Dow climbing 32 points to 10,883. Nasdaq rose 7 points to 2402.

 

On the upside

Goldman Sachs cited superior growth for placing Southwestern Energy (NYSE: SWN) on the company's Americas conviction buy list.

Oxygen Biotherapeutics (Nasdaq: OXBT) introduced its new skin care product line Dermacyte Oxygen.

Private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners will take BWAY Holding (NYSE: BWY) private in an all cash deal valued at approximately $448 million.

On the downside

Orckit Communications (Nasdaq: ORCT) will sell approximately $10.6 million worth of common shares and warrants to purchase common shares.

A disappointing opening weekend for DreamWorks Animation's (Nasdaq: DWA) "How To Train Your Dragon" weighed down shares of the studio.

FBR Capital Markets analyst Paul J. Miller downgraded Synovus Financial (NYSE: SNV) saying that he doubts that the regional bank will return to profitability this year.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 9 to 7 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 2 points to 680.

A modest increase in consumer spending lifted the markets to a higher open with the Dow rising 29 points to 10,879. Nasdaq gained 8 points to 2403.

 

On the upside

Avnet will pay approximately $252 million in cash to acquire Bell Microproducts (Nasdaq: BELM).

MDRNA (Nasdaq: MRNA) received an allowance letter from the patent office for its proprietary method of targeting peptide technology.

Lazard Capital Markets analyst Todd Slater upgraded Talbots (NYSE: TLB) to a Buy rating.

On the downside

Pacific Ethanol (Nasdaq: PEIX) subsidiary Pacific Ethanol Holding Co. will restructure approximately $293.5 million worth of debt and secure up to $35 million in a new line of credit.

Arca BioPharma (Nasdaq: ABIO) must revise the phase III clinical trial of its heart failure treatment bucindolol.

Allied Irish Banks (NYSE: AIB) must increase its capital and will most likely need another injection of capital from the government.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 3 points to 682.

It was a mixed close for the markets with the Dow gaining 9 points to 10,850 while Nasdaq lost 2 points to 2395 despite a new government plan to assist troubled homeowners as the nation's economy expanded less than expected in the fourth quarter.

 

On the upside

Shares of China Lodging Group (Nasdaq: HTHT) surged on its first trading day.

Cowen & Co. analyst Doug Creutz upgraded THQ (Nasdaq: THQI) saying that the stock is attractively priced.

Bloomberg reported that Man Group discussed investment and acquisition opportunities with GLG Partners (NYSE: GLG) and SAC Capital Advisors.

On the downside

Dynegy (NYSE: DYN) beneficial owner LS Power Development LLC sold 2.7 million shares of stock.

Somaxon Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SOMX) will offer 6 million common shares at the discounted price of $8.25 per share.

Fifth Third Bancorp (Nasdaq: FITB) must issue new debit cards to a limited number of customers after a security breach.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 10 to 9 on the NYSE while decliners barely edged out advancers by a slim margin on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks eased a fraction to 678.

The markets traded mixed during the midday with the Dow rising 5 points to 10,846 while Nasdaq slipped 7 points to 2390 as the nation's economy expanded at a smaller than expected pace in the fourth quarter.

 

On the upside

The Finish Line (Nasdaq: FINL) reversed year ago losses to post a stronger than expected fourth quarter profit as revenue rose.

Private equity firm Thoma Bravo LLC will pay approximately $141 million in cash to acquire Plato Learning (Nasdaq: TUTR).

Cost Plus (Nasdaq: CPWM) swung to a profit for the fourth quarter and forecast higher sales for the first quarter.

On the downside

K-V Pharmaceutical (NYSE: KV-A) halted shipments and manufacturing of all products in January 2009 due to product recalls and plans to resume sales in October at the earliest.

Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) reported lower third quarter earnings due to expenses related to its acquisition of Sun Microsystems.

BMO Capital Markets downgraded Seagate Technology (Nasdaq: STX).

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearlu 5 to 4 on the NYSE and by nearly 9 to 7 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped 2 points to 676.

An aid package was finalized for Greece lifting the markets to a higher open with the Dow gaining 47 points to 10,888. Nasdaq rose 13 points to 2411.

 

On the upside

Smart Modular Technologies (Nasdaq: SMOD) reversed year ago losses to post a better than expected profit for the second quarter as revenue surged.

ARCA biopharma (Nasdaq: ABIO) was granted a patent for methods of treating heart failure patients with bucindolol based on genetic testing.

The New York Post reported that RadioShack (NYSE: RSH) was exploring strategic alternatives including the possible sale of the company.

On the downside

Penn Virginia (NYSE: PVG) priced its offering of 10 million common units at $18.45 per unit.

Lexington Realty Trust (NYSE: LXP) priced its offering of 9.5 million common shares to raise approximately $61.5 million.

ATC Technology (Nasdaq: ATAC) slashed its earnings and revenue guidance for 2010 and provided a first quarter outlook that fell short of analyst expectations.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose 3 points to 682.

It was a mixed close for the markets despite upbeat earnings and jobs data as discussions to bailout Greece continued with no specific details available. The Dow added 5 points to 10,841 while Nasdaq eased a point to 2397.

 

On the upside

Fourth quarter earnings for Conn's (Nasdaq: CONN) tumbled but the results beat expectations.

Omnova Solutions (NYSE: OMN) reversed year ago losses to post a better than expected profit for the first quarter.

Kaufman Bros. analyst Karl Keirstead upgraded VanceInfo Technologies (NYSE: VIT).

On the downside

Goodrich Petroleum (NYSE: GDP) named Jan Schott as interim chief financial officer after David Looney resigned.

Bernstein downgraded Brocade Communications Systems (Nasdaq: BRCD).

Baird analyst David Tarantino downgraded Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX) citing recent gains in the coffee retailer's stock price.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 7 to 5 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 4 points to 679.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke affirmed the need for low interest rates to bolster the economy. The markets soared during the midday with the Dow climbing 103 points to 10,939 while Nasdaq gained 28 points to 2427.

 

On the upside

Bakers Footwear Group (Nasdaq: BKRS) reported a surge in fourth quarter profit and amended its debt covenant.

Fourth quarter earnings for Lululemon Athletica (Nasdaq: LULU) nearly tripled to top estimates as revenue climbed.

The European Union approved SciClone Pharmaceuticals' (Nasdaq: SCLN) chemotherapy induced nausea treatment ondansetron RapidFilm.

On the downside

IncrediMail (Nasdaq: MAIL) disappointed with sharply lower fourth quarter earnings.

Although UTi Worldwide (Nasdaq: UTIW) swung to a fourth quarter profit, the results fell short of estimates.

Citigroup downgraded RRI Energy (NYSE: RRI) to a Sell rating.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose 4 points to 688.

A greater than expected drop in initial applications for unemployment benefits lifted the markets to a higher open with the Dow gaining 66 points to 10,902. Nasdaq rose 18 points to 2417.

 

On the upside

CombinatoRx (Nasdaq: CRXX) reversed year ago losses to post a profit for the fourth quarter as revenue more than doubled.

Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM) lifted its second quarter outlook due to strong revenue gains.

Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) reported higher fourth quarter earnings that topped analyst estimates as revenue climbed and the electronics retailer forecast full year results ahead of expectations.

On the downside

The Food and Drug Administration requested more data from Electro-Optical Sciences (Nasdaq: MELA) for its melanoma screening device MelaFind.

JP Morgan downgraded Genzyme (NYSE: GENZ) after the Food and Drug Administration informed the biotechnology firm that third party inspectors may have to be hired to monitor one of its manufacturing plants.

While fourth quarter earnings for ConAgra (NYSE: CAG) rose, revenue fell to miss estimates.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose 4 points to 688.

Portugal's ratings downgrade sent the markets down to a lower close with the Dow tumbling 52 points to 10,836. Nasdaq fell 16 points to 2398.

 

On the upside

RADCOM (Nasdaq: RDCM) was selected by 3G mobile service provider in China to monitor the company's network.

Shares of mortgage insurers PMI Group (NYSE: PMI), Radian Group (NYSE: RDN) and MGIC Investment (NYSE: MTG) surged after Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) announced a new program that will lower the principal on underwater home loans.

USEC (NYSE: USU) and the Department of Energy entered a $90 million cost share agreement to support centrifuge development and demonstration.

On the downside

Orrstown Financial Services (Nasdaq: ORRF) priced its public offering of over 1.48 million common shares at $27 per share.

FBR Capital Markets analyst Eric Tracy downgraded Under Armour (NYSE: UA) saying that the company is now fairly valued.

Cemex (NYSE: CX) warned of losses for the first quarter due to the sluggish global economy and severe winter storms that halted construction projects.

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 6 points to 683.

A drop in new home sales weighed down the markets during the midday with the Dow falling 43 points to 10,844. Nasdaq dropped 14 points to 2400.

 

On the upside

Gentium (Nasdaq: GENT) reported upbeat results from its hepatic veno-occlusive disease treatment.

FBR Capital upgraded FelCor Lodging Trust (NYSE: FCH).

Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) introduced its HTC Evo 4G Android smartphone.

On the downside

Sonic (Nasdaq: SONC) disappointed with a second quarter loss as sales dropped.

Commercial Metals (NYSE: CMC) widened second quarter losses by a greater than expected amount.

2009 income for China Unicom (NYSE: CHU) plunged to fall short of expectations.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by nearly 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped 2 points to 687.

Fitch Ratings cut Portugal's debt rating sending the markets down to a lower open with the Dow losing 12 points to 10,876. Nasdaq fell 7 points to 2408.

 

On the upside

Novavax (Nasdaq: NVAX) reported positive results from a midstage swine flu vaccine study.

First quarter earnings for Adobe Systems (Nasdaq: ADBE) beat expectations and the company forecast strong current quarter results.

MF Global Holdings (NYSE: MF) named former New Jersey governor Jon S. Corzine to the position of chief executive.

On the downside

Poniard Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: PARD) halted efforts to obtain regulatory approval for its lung cancer treatment picoplatin, announced that it will slash its workforce by 45% and will begin exploring strategic options including the possible sale of the company.

The Food and Drug Administration will take enforcement action against Genzyme (Nasdaq: GENZ) to ensure that products made at its Allston plant are in compliance with good manufacturing practices regulations.

Jabil Circuit (NYSE: JBL) reversed year ago losses but revenue fell short of analyst expectations.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 2 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 3 points to 687.

The markets advanced to close higher with the Dow surging 102 points to 10,888 as sales of existing homes slipped less than anticipated. Nasdaq climbed 19 points to 2415.

 

On the upside

World Heart (Nasdaq: WHRT) announced that the University of Utah successfully implanted its first Levacor Ventricular Assist Device.

Perrigo (Nasdaq: PRGO) will pay $808 million in cash to acquire PBM, the world's biggest maker of store branded infant formula.

Dynavax Technologies (Nasdaq: DVAX) reported that its HEPLISAV hepatitis B vaccine was just as safe as approved vaccine Engerix-B.

On the downside

Beckman Coulter (NYSE: BEC) must obtain new Food and Drug Administration approval for its heart attack test system.

Digital Ally (Nasdaq: DGLY) swung to a profit for the fourth quarter but posted a loss for the year.

Annaly Capital Management (NYSE: NLY) will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.65 per share on April 28, 2010 to shareholders of record March 30, 2010.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks climbed 7 points to 690.

Existing home sales slipped less than expected to lift the markets higher during the midday with the Dow gaining 40 points to 10,826. Nasdaq rose 6 points to 2401.

 

On the upside

Integrated Silicon Solutions (Nasdaq: ISSI) lifted its first quarter outlook.

Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) approved PMI Group's (NYSE: PMI) request for subsidiary PMI Mortgage Assurance to issue mortgage insurance.

Triumph Group (NYSE: TGI) will acquire Vought Aircraft in a cash and stock deal valued at approximately $1.4 billion.

On the downside

Reuters reported that Apax Partners ended acquisition discussions with Polycom (Nasdaq: PLCM).

Steelcase (NYSE: SCS) disappointed with a much wider than expected loss for the fourth quarter as revenue dropped.

RXi Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: RXII) will repurchase 675,000 of its common shares from CytRx (Nasdaq: CYTR).

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 3 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 4 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 2 points to 685.

A smaller than expected drop in existing home sales lifted the markets to a higher open with the Dow rising 27 points to 10,813. Nasdaq added 2 points to 2397.

 

On the upside

Lazard Capital Markets analyst Dr. Sean Lavin cited a potential Down syndrome test for upgrading Sequenom (Nasdaq: SQNM).

Shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE: RCL) and Carnival (NYSE: CCL) rose after Alaska lowered its head tax from $50 per passenger to $34.50.

Arrowhead Research (Nasdaq: ARWR) announced that its subsidiary Calando Pharmaceuticals successfully demonstrated the "silencing" of a cancer gene through RNA interference.

On the downside

Oncothyreon (Nasdaq: ONTY) cited an adverse patient reaction for temporarily suspending a clinical trial for its cancer vaccine Stimuvax.

Maguire Properties (NYSE: MPG) blamed charges associated with defaulted properties for widening fourth quarter losses.

While KB Home (NYSE: KB) narrowed first quarter losses, the results fell short of estimates.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a slim margin on the NYSE and by more than 10 to 9 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks eased a fraction to 682.

The markets closed higher with the Dow rising 43 points to 10,785 as passage of the historic healthcare reform bill assured hospitals and pharmaceuticals of a greater number of insured patients. Nasdaq climbed 20 points to 2395.

 

On the upside

Ascent Solar Technologies (Nasdaq: ASTI) partnered with Kirloskar Integrated Technologies to build a solar module assembly plant in India.

Shares of insurer Centene (NYSE: CNC), which has a significant Medicaid business, rose after passage of the healthcare reform bill. The bill expands Medicaid.

Brean Murray, Carret defended its bullish view on Seagate Technology (Nasdaq: STX) and maintained its Buy rating on the company.

On the downside

Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK) said that the company may enter a couple of joint ventures in the near future.

Sprint (NYSE: S) introduced the Motorola i1 phone, the world's first push-to-talk Android powered smartphone, but the stock price dropped.

Shares of Palm (NYSE: PALM) continued falling after an analyst slashed his price target on the company to $0.

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 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks soared 9 points to 682.

Passage of the healthcare reform bill boosted health care stocks to lift the markets higher during the midday with the Dow gaining 59 points to 10,801. Nasdaq climbed 20 points to 2395.

 

On the upside

Techwell (Nasdaq: TWLL) will be acquired by Intersil (Nasdaq: ISIL) for approximately $370 million.

CNX Gas (Nasdaq: CXG) announced that its Marcellus Shale GH2BCV gas well achieved a record production rate of 5.7 million cubic feet per day.

Acquisition rumors lifted shares of BankAtlantic Bancorp (NYSE: BBX).

On the downside

Shares of A.P. Pharma (Nasdaq: APPA) continued falling after the Food and Drug Administration requested additional studies of the company's chemotherapy induced nausea treatment on Friday.

Weatherford International (NYSE: WFT) stock continued its decline after Jefferies downgraded the oil services firm on Friday.

Passage of the healthcare reform bill weighed down shares of insurance firm UnitedHealth (NYSE: UNH).

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 4 on the NYSE and by more than 9 to 7 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks climbed 5 points to 678.

The markets opened modestly higher with the Dow rising 42 points to 10,784 as passage of the historic healthcare bill created certainty. Nasdaq gained 10 points to 2385.

 

On the upside

Passage of the healthcare bill will increase insured patients at hospitals lifting shares of Health Management Associates (NYSE: HMA) and Tenet Healthcare (NYSE: THC).

Novell (Nasdaq: NOVL) rejected Elliott Associates' $2 billion acquisition offer saying that the bid was too low.

Williams-Sonoma (NYSE: WSM) impressed with sharply higher fourth quarter earnings that topped estimates, forecast 2010 results ahead of expectations and increased its quarterly dividend.

On the downside

Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) relaxed certain income documentation requirements for loan modifications.

Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) said that demand was mixed during its most recent sale of $4 billion worth of bills.

E-Trade (Nasdaq: ETFC) named Steven Freiberg to replace interim chief executive Robert Druskin and announced a 1-for-10 reverse stock split.

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 slipped a point to 672.

European leaders continued hammering out a financial bailout package for Greece fueling fears that Greece may default soon sending the markets down to a lower close with the Dow losing 37 points to 10,741. Nasdaq fell 16 points to 2374.

 

On the upside

Hersha Hospitality Trust (NYSE: HT) will sell 24 million common shares to raise approximately $102 million.

Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD) will now accept payments with electronic benefit transfer cards and food stamps.

Oclaro (Nasdaq: OCLR) introduced a new family of 50 GHz Wavelength Selective Switches.

On the downside

Addus HomeCare (Nasdaq: ADUS) disappointed with fourth quarter earnings that missed expectations by a wide margin.

Hugoton Royalty Trust (NYSE: HGT) will pay a distribution of $0.141337 per unit on April 15, 2010 to shareholders of record March 31, 2010.

Law firm Abraham, Fruchter & Twersky is investigating possibile securities violations by Fuqi International (Nasdaq: FUQI).

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks dropped 7 points to 673.

Renewed concerns about Greece's debt weighed down the markets during the midday with the Dow falling 56 points to 10,722. Nasdaq dropped 21 points to 2369.

 

On the upside

City Telecom (Nasdaq: CTEL) chief executive William Yeung and chief financial officer NiQ Lai celebrated ten years on Nasdaq with the Opening Bell Ceremony.

PolyOne (NYSE: POL) forecast first quarter results far ahead of analyst estimates.

Record aircraft deliveries lifted fourth quarter earnings for Embraer (NYSE: ERJ).

On the downside

Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.1575 cents per share on June 1, 2010 to shareholders of record May 7, 2010.

Shares of Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) fell even as analysts expect the company to report higher third quarter results next week.

Citigroup downgraded DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV).

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 tumbled 9 points to 672.

The markets opened lower with the Dow losing 29 points to 10,749 after an analyst cut Palm price target to $0. Nasdaq fell 13 points to 2377.

 

On the upside

Lloyds Banking Group (NYSE: LYG) said that it expects 2010 to be profitable due to lower than expected impairment charges for bad debt .

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn launched a hostile takeover for Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE: LGF).

Boeing (NYSE: BA) expects demand to increase in 2012 and is ramping up production of 777 and 747 models.

On the downside

The Food and Drug Administration issued a complete response letter to A. P. Pharma (Nasdaq: APPA) denying approval for the company's chemotherapy induced nausea treatment APF530.

Canaccord Adams analyst Peter Misek cited solvency concerns for slashing his price target on Palm (Nasdaq: PALM).

SunPower (Nasdaq: SPWRA) restated earnings for the past two years and reported a sharp drop in fourth quarter earnings.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 9 to 7 on the NYSE and by more than 9 to 7 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 3 points to 678.

The markets closed modestly higher with the Dow gaining 45 points to 10,779 over tame inflation data. Nasdaq added 2 points to 2391.

 

On the upside

Deutsche Bank analyst Darren Lehrich upgraded MedCath (Nasdaq: MDTH) and lifted his price target on the company.

Sterne Agee initiated coverage of Wabash National (NYSE: WNC) with a Buy rating.

Barclays Capital analyst Brian Johnson upgraded Avis Budget Group (NYSE: CAR) and raised his price target on the car rental company saying that demand will increase.

On the downside

Argus downgraded Ariad Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ARIA).

WPCS International (Nasdaq: WPCS) disappointed with lower third quarter earnings.

Ardour Capital Investments analyst Adam Krop downgarded Ascent Solar Technologies (Nasdaq: ASTI) citing significant shipment delays.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 7 to 5 on the NYSE and by more than 9 to 7 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 2 points to 681.

Consumer prices held steady in February signalling that the economy is on a slow mend. The Dow rose 27 points to 10,761 while Nasdaq edged down a fraction to 2388.

 

On the upside

The Food and Drug Administration approved Somaxon Pharmaceuticals' (Nasdaq: SOMX) insomnia treatment Silenor.

Finisar (Nasdaq: FNSR) increased its public offering to more than 8.6 million shares priced at $14 per share.

Borders (NYSE: BGP) announced an agreement with gift registry solutions company MarCole Interactive Systems as the exclusive book retailer for the new National Teacher Registry.

On the downside

First quarter earnings for CRA International (Nasdaq: CRAI) plunged to fall far short of estimates as revenue dropped and the company announced the elimination of 47 positions.

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst Jennifer Demba downgraded Synovus Financial (NYSE: SNV).

While Winnebago (NYSE: WGO) swung to a second quarter profit, the company filed a registration statement to sell $35 million worth of common shares.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 3 to 2 on the NYSE and by more than 9 to 7 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped a point to 682.

The markets opened mixed with the Dow adding 15 points to 10,749 as initial jobless claims slipped less than expected. Nasdaq eased a point to 2387.

 

On the upside

Delta Petroleum (Nasdaq: DPTR) will sell a 37.5% stake of its Vega Area assets to Opon International for approximately $400 million.

Fourth quarter earnings for GameStop (NYSE: GME) beat analyst expectations and the company forecast 2010 results ahead of estimates.

Third quarter earnings for Nike (NYSE: NKE) doubled to surpass expectations as sales increased.

On the downside

Sandy Spring Bancorp (Nasdaq: SASR) increased its offering to 6.5 million shares at $13.50 per share.

Trina Solar (NYSE: TSL) will offer 7.9 million American depositary shares.

Vimpelcom (NYSE: VIP) disappointed with fourth quarter results that fell short of expectations.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 10 to 9 on the NYSE and by 9 to 7 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks eased a fraction to 683.

An extension of low interest rates lifted the markets to a higher close with the Dow gaining 47 points to 10,733. Nasdaq rose 11 points to 2389.

 

On the upside

An Asian semiconductor ordered FSI International's (Nasdaq: FSII) FSI ORION wafer cleaning system.

Standard & Poor's placed timber company ratings on watch with positive implications lifting shares of Rock Tenn (NYSE: RKT) and Temple-Inland (NYSE: TIN).

WowWee Group made an offer of $2.40 per share for Optimal Group (Nasdaq: OPMR).

On the downside

Goldman Sachs downgraded Citrix Systems (Nasdaq: CTXS).

E-Trade (Nasdaq: ETFC) reported a sharp 20% sequential drop in trades for the month of February.

Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS) launched its Sands Eco 360 Global Sustainable Development program to promote green business initiatives.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by more than 7 to 5 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose 4 points to 683.

The markets advanced during the midday with the Dow climbed 71 points to 10,757 as wholesale prices slipped. Nasdaq gained 19 points to 2397.

 

On the upside

A federal court requested that the patent office review its decision to deny a patent extension for Medicines Co.'s (Nasdaq: MDCO) Angiomax anti-clotting drug.

KongZhong (Nasdaq: KONG) reported sharply higher fourth quarter earnings as revenue climbed.

Focus Media (NYSE: CPF) appointed John C. Dean to the position of Chairman of the Board.

On the downside

Star Scientific (Nasdaq: CIGX) widened losses for 2009 due to a patent infringement settlement paid to RJ Reynolds.

Meridian Biosciences (Nasdaq: VIVO) cut its full year outlook.

While Boston Scientifc's (NYSE: BSX) Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy Defibrillators met study goals, the Food and Drug Administration suggested that the results may not be as significant in the marketplace.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks climbed 7 points to 686.

On the heels of the Federal Reserve decision yesterday to hold interest rates steady, Japan also affirmed its low interest rate lifting the markets to a higher open with the Dow gaining 39 points to 10,725. Nasdaq rose 10 points to 2388.

 

On the upside

Financial Times reported that private equity firm Apax has been engaged in discussions to take Polycom (Nasdaq: PLCM) private.

LSI (NYSE: LSI) lifted its first quarter guidance as sales climbed.

Focus Media (Nasdaq: FMCN) narrowed fourth quarter losses as one time expenses fell.

On the downside

Analysts downgraded FUQI International (Nasdaq: FUQI) after the company announced that earnings were overstated for the first, second and third quarters of 2009 due to accounting errors.

Shares of Vimpel-Communications (NYSE: VIP) fell ahead of its earnings release tomorrow.

Teekay Offshore (NYSE: TOO) priced its 4.4 million follow-on public offering at $19.48 per unit.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose 3 points to 683.

Investors welcomed the Federal Reserve decision to hold interest rates steady. The markets close higher with the Dow rising 43 points to 10,685 while Nasdaq gained 15 points to 2378.

 

On the upside

A Wall Street Journal report of possible bank consolidations in Puerto Rico lifted shares of Popular (Nasdaq: BPOP).

CKX (Nasdaq: CKXE) narrowed fourth quarter losses as revenue surged.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Biolase Technology's (Nasdaq: BLTI) iLase handheld dental laser.

On the downside

City Bank (Nasdaq: CTBK) received a Corrective Action Directive from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. giving the bank thirty days to raise additional capital or sell itself.

Genpact (NYSE: G) announced the sale 28 million shares of common stock by shareholders prompting a downgrade.

Movado (NYSE: MOV) warned of wider than expected losses for the fourth quarter.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 5 points to 679.

Standard & Poor's removed Greece from its credit watch list and affirmed its rating to lift the markets higher during the midday with the Dow gaining 77 points to 10,659. Nasdaq climbed 9 points to 2371.

 

On the upside

Shares of Financial Engine (Nasdaq: FNGN) surged on its first day of trading.

Patriot Coal (NYSE: PCX) announced that it will sell nearly 1.5 million tons of metalluirgical coal to Asia.

Rumors circulated that private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts may be interested in acquiring Harley-Davison (NYSE: HOG).

On the downside

Sterne Agee downgraded United Western Bancorp (Nasdaq: UWBK) after the company swung to a fourth quarter loss.

Although DSW (NYSE: DSW) swung to a profit for the fourth quarter, earnings fell short of estimates.

General Steel Holdings (NYSE: GSI) blamed a charge for widening fourth quarter losses.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 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 676.

The markets opened modestly higher with the Dow rising 7 points to 10,649 as investors await the Federal Reserve's interest rate decision. Nasdaq added 3 points to 2365.

 

On the upside

Credit Suisse analyst Gabriel Chan upgraded Melco Crown Entertainment (Nasdaq: MPEL) citing strong gaming revenue growth in Macau.

Oriental Financial Group (NYSE: OFG) priced its offering of 7.6 million common shares at $11.40 per share to raise approximately $86.6 million.

Fourth quarter earnings for AthernaHealth (Nasdaq: ATHN) plunged from last year when a significant tax benefit lifted profit but revenue soared.

On the downside

Sequenom (Nasdaq: SQNM) widened fourth quarter losses more than expected as revenue dropped and expenses increased.

Lexicon Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: LXRX) priced its public offering of more than 87.7 million shares at $1.15 per share.

Global Partners (NYSE: GLP) priced its offering of 3.4 million common shares at $22.75 per share.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 10 to 9 on the NYSE while decliners edged out advancers by more than 10 to 9 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks eased a point to 673.

It was a mixed close for the markets with the Dow adding 17 points to 10,642 as falling crude oil prices took the sting out of a drop in homebuilder sentiment. Nasdaq slipped 5 points to 2362.

 

On the upside

Angiotech Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ANPI) announced positive results from a clinical trial by its partner Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX) for the platimun chromium TAXUS(R) Element(TM) Paclitaxel-Eluting Stent System.

Citigroup analyst Deborah Weinswig upgraded Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) to a Buy rating and lifted her price target on the retailer.

General Electric (NYSE: GE) will sell its energy business GE Energy to Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group.

On the downside

Gray Television (NYSE: GTN) warned that it may breach its financial covenants at the end of the month.

Thor Industries (NYSE: THO) announced the appointment of J. Allen Kosowsky to the Boad of Directors.

Fourth quarter earnings for Sterling Construction (Nasdaq: STRL) tumbled to fall far short of estimates.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 7 to 5 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped 2 points to 674.

The markets traded lower during the midday with the Dow slipping 21 points to 10,602 over continuing efforts by the Chinese government to slow its economic growth. Nasdaq dropped 17 points to 2350.

 

On the upside

Phillips-Van Heusen (NYSE: PVH) will pay approximately $3 billion in cash and stock to acquire Tommy Hilfiger.

Medtronic (NYSE: MDT) reported upbeat results for its Cryoblation catheter.

RadNet (Nasdaq: RDNT) reversed year ago losse to post a fourth quarter profit as revenue rose.

On the downside

Gramercy Capital (NYSE: GKK) retained the services of EdgeRock Realty Advisors to explore strategic alternatives for its Gramercy Realty business.

Although Insmed (Nasdaq: INSM) swung to a profit for the fourth quarter, revenue slipped.

American Bioengineering (NYSE: AOB) reported higher fourth quarter earnings but the results fell short of expectations.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks fell 5 points to 670.

Moody's Investors Service warned that the nation's top credit rating may drop sending the markets down to a lower open with the Dow losing 10 points to 10,614. Nasdaq slipped 8 points to 2359.

 

On the upside

Chordiant Software (Nasdaq: CHRD) agreed to be acquired by Pegasystems (Nasdaq: PEGA) in an all cash deal valued at approximately $161.5 million.

The Food and Drug Administration requested no new studies for an extended release version of the diabetes treatment exenatide developed by Amylin Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: AMLN), Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY) and Alkermes (Nasdaq: ALKS).

St. Jude Medical (NYSE: STJ) announced that its advanced atrial fibrillation treatment for a heart rhythm disorder was more effective than medication.

On the downside

The Food and Drug Administration requested additional data from Mannkind (Nasdaq: MNKD) for its inhalabel insulin Afrezza.

Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX) stopped all shipments and issued a recall of its implantable cardioverter defibrillators and cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators.

CONSOL Energy (NYSE: CNX) will pay approximately $3.48 billion in cash to acquire Dominion Resources' (NYSE: D) Appalachian natural gas properties.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 7 to 5 on the NYSE and by a margin of more than 5 to 4 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks eased a point to 675.

It was a mixed close for the markets with the Dow rising 12 points to 10,624 as investors digested a gain in retail sales amidst a drop in consumer sentiment. Nasdaq eased a fraction to 2367.

 

On the upside

Intellipharmaceutics International (Nasdaq: IPCI) settled patent lawsuits with Novartis (NYSE: NVS), Celgene (Nasdaq: CELG) and Elan (NYSE: ELN).

Star Scientific (Nasdaq: CIGX) chief executive Jonnie Williams purchased nearly 2.4 million shares of company stock.

Rumors circulated that Supervalu (NYSE: SVU) may be the target of an acquisition.

On the downside

Acorn International (NYSE: ATV) blamed an impairment charge for widening fourth quarter losses.

GMX Resources (NYSE: GMXR) restated 2008 financials to report a much wider loss for the year. The company also restated quarterly earnings for 2009.

Investors locked in profits on Citigroup (NYSE: C), whose shares surged this week, after Oppenheimer analyst Chris Kotowski said that the stock price was now fairly valued.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 9 to 7 on the NYSE while decliners edged out advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 4 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks eased a fraction to 676.

The markets traded flat during the midday with the Dow edging up a fraction to 10,612 as a slipping consumer sentiment tempered an upbeat retail sales report. Nasdaq eased a point to 2366.

 

On the upside

Although ATO Oil & Gas (Nasdaq: ATPG) reported a fourth quarter loss, reserves have been replaced 376%.

Ener1 (Nasdaq: HEV) narrowed losses for the fourth quarter and announced the completion of a $118.5 million Department of Energy grant.

Quiksilver (NYSE: ZQK) narrowed first quarter losses more than expected even as revenue slipped.

On the downside

Broadwind Energy (Nasdaq: BWEN) blamed charges for widening fourth quarter losses.

G. Willi-Food International (Nasdaq: WILC) priced its public offering of more than 3.3 million shares at $6.05 per share.

Smith & Wesson (NYSE: SWHC) reported flat third quarter earnings as revenue fell short of estimates and the gun maker forecast disappointing fourth quarter results.

In the broad market, advancing issues barely edged out decliners by a slim margin on the NYSE while decliners outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 2 points to 674.

A dip in consumer sentiment weighed down the markets to a lower open with the Dow slipping 12 points to 10,599. Nasdaq lost 8 points to 2360.

 

On the upside

Potash (NYSE: POT) raised its first quarter earnings outlook as demand surged.

Fourth quarter earnings for Aeropostale (NYSE: ARO) climbed to top analyst estimates prompting upgrades.

Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE: CLF) announced a May 14, 2010 redemption date for rights accompanying outstanding stock under the company's Shareholder Rights Plan.

On the downside

Pacific Sunwear (Nasdaq: PSUN) widened fourth quarter losses as sales dropped.

Cytori (Nasdaq: CYTX) blamed increased costs widening fourth quarter losses more than expected.

CF Industries (NYSE: CF) will pay approximately $4.7 billion to acquire Terra Industries (NYSE: TRA).

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE while advancers barely edged out decliners by a slim margin on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks edged up a fraction to 677.

Comments by Citigroup chief executive Vikram Pandit that the bank was on track to sustained profitability lifted the markets to a higher close with the Dow gaining 44 points to 10,611. Nasdaq rose 9 points to 2368.

 

On the upside

iGo (Nasdaq: IGOI) reported break even results for the fourth quarter. Analysts were expecting a loss.

Fourth quarter earnings rose for Gymboree (Nasdaq: GYMB) to top estimates and the children's clothing retailer announced expansion plans in the Middle East.

DeLorme placed an order with Globalstar (Nasdaq: GSAT) for over 15,000 SPOT Satellite Communicators.

On the downside

Significant Zale (NYSE: ZLC) shareholder Franklin Resources has sold most of its 4.7 stake in the jewelery retailer.

Men's Wearhouse (NYSE: MW) swung to a loss as revenue dropped to miss expectations.

Shares of Quiksilver (NYSE: ZQK) fell ahead of its earnings release after market close.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 7 to 5 on the NYSE and by more than 9 to 7 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 2 points to 677.

Markets Flat As Exports Drop

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The markets traded near the flatline with the Dow easing 3 points to 10,563 as the nation's trade deficit dropped due to lower imports as well as exports. Nasdaq lost 2 points to 2356.

 

On the upside

SMTC (Nasdaq: SMTX) impressed with fourth quarter earnings that more than doubled to surpass analyst expectations.

Clean Energy Fuels (Nasdaq: CLNE) posted a fourth quarter loss that was narrower than expected prompting an upgrade.

GameStop (NYSE: GME) will launch God of War III at midnight on Monday, March 15 at over 3,500 stores nationwide.

On the downside

Shares of Wave Systems (Nasdaq: WAVX) fell ahead of its earnings release after market close.

Willbros Group (NYSE: WG) narrowed fourth quarter losses but still fell short of estimates.

Cinemark Holdings (NYSE: CNK) announced an expansion of 3D movie screens from its current 400 to between 1,100 and 1,300 by the end of the year through financing from Digital Cinema Implementation Partners.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 9 to 7 on the NYSE and by more than 7 to 5 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped 2 points to 672.

The markets opened lower with the Dow losing 28 points to 10,538 as initial jobless claims fell less than expected. Nasdaq slipped 3 points to 2355.

 

On the upside

BioSante Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: BPAX) reported upbeat results from a clinical trial of its leukemia vaccine GVAX.

Imax (Nasdaq: IMAX) reversed year ago losses to post a profit for the fourth quarter due to blockbuster movies such as Avatar.

Synovus Financial (NYSE: SNV) declared a quarterly dividend of a penny per share payable on April 1, 2010 to shareholders of record March 18, 2010.

On the downside

Grant Thornton International resigned from its appointment as the indepenent accounting firm for Yuhe International (Nasdaq: YUII).

China Security & Surveillance Technology (NYSE: CSR) announced a public offering of 20 million common shares.

Jackson Hewitt Tax Service (NYSE: JTX) disappointed with a third quarter loss and warned that it may fail to comply with the financial covenants of its credit facility.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 5 to 2 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks fell 5 points to 669.

Investors interpreted a slip in wholesale inventories as a sign that companies must soon make purchases in order to restock. The markets closed modestly higher with the Dow adding 2 points to 10,567 while Nasdaq climbed 18 points to 2358.

 

On the upside

The Wall Street Journal reported that private equity firm Bain Capital was in negotiations to acquire Psychiatric Solutions (Nasdaq: PSYS).

A jury found that Smith & Nephew infringed on patents licensed to Kinetic Concepts (NYSE: KCI).

Assured Guaranty (NYSE: AGO) commenced a secondary public offering of 16.4 million common shares owned by Dexia SA.

On the downside

Shares of Orthovita (Nasdaq: VITA) fell ahead of its earnings call tomorrow morning.

Goldman Sachs downgraded Lazard (NYSE: LAZ) from its conviction buy list.

Susquehanna Bancshares (Nasdaq: SUSQ) priced its offering of 37.5 million common shares at $8.00 per share.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 5 points to 674.

The markets traded mixed during the midday with the Dow slipping 4 points to 10,560 as crude oil prices rose. Nasdaq gained 14 points to 2355.

 

On the upside

The Food and Drug Administration approved Oculus Innovative Sciences' (Nasdaq: OCLS) Microcyn Skin and Wound HydroGel.

Fourth quarter earnings for Harbin Electric (Nasdaq: HRBN) tripled.

Fourth quarter earnings for American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE: AEO) rose and the teen clothing and accessories retailer forecast strong first quarter results.

On the downside

Gushan Environmental Energy (NYSE: GU) disappointed with a wider than expected loss for the fourth quarter.

EQT (NYSE: EQT) will raise capital through the offering of 12.5 million common shares.

Shares of GenVec (Nasdaq: GNVC) fell ahead of its earnings release tomorrow after market close.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 3 to 2 on the NYSE and by more than 7 to 5 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 2 points to 672.

While wholesale inventories slipped in January, sales increased to lift the markets to a higher open with the Dow rising 23 points to 10,587. Nasdaq gained 14 points to 2355.

 

On the upside

A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recommended approval for InterMune's (Nasdaq: ITMN) fatal lung disease treatment Esbriet.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) announced an all cash $450 million deal to acquire Facet Biotech (Nasdaq: FACT).

The Taiwanese parliament will review a report from the Financial Supervisory Commission on American International Group's (NYSE: AIG) sale of its Taiwan unit to China Strategic.

On the downside

Navistar International (NYSE: NAV) blamed a drop in military sales for sharply lower first quarter earnings that fell short of expectations and forecast full year results below estimates.

J. Crew Group (NYSE: JCG) reversed year ago losses to post a fourth quarter profit that surpassed analyst estimates but the stock price dropped.

Payless Shoe Source parent Collective Brands (NYSE: PSS) narrowed fourth quarter losses but the stock price fell.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 4 on the NYSE and by nearly 9 to 7 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a point to 670.

On the one year anniversary of the stock market turn around sparked by Citigroup's profit report, the markets closed modestly higher with the Dow adding 11 points to 10,564. Nasdaq rose 8 points to 2340.

 

On the upside

Force Protection (Nasdaq: FPRT) reported higher fourth quarter earnings that topped analyst estimates.

Wabash National (NYSE: WNC) will build 3,100 new DuraPlate HD dry vans for Swift Transportation.

Fairholme fund manager Bruce Berkowitz told Fortune that Citigroup (NYSE: C) stock was underpriced.

On the downside

Jamba (Nasdaq: JMBA) reported a fourth quarter loss and lower revenue.

Shares of Genco Shipping (NYSE: GNK), Excel Maritime (NYSE: EXM) and Diana Shipping (NYSE: DSX) fell as two shippers prepare to launch initial public offerings.

Borders (NYSE: BGP) announced an exclusive collectors edition of the "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" DVD available on March 20 but the stock price fell.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 9 to 7 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 4 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 2 points to 669.

The markets advanced during the midday with the Dow gaining 46 points to 10,598 as airlines reported better on-time arrival rates. Nasdaq climbed 17 points to 2349.

 

On the upside

Japan granted EDAP (Nasdaq: EDAP) marketing approval for its newly designed, high-end lithotripsy device.

Briefing.com reported rumors that Netlist's (NYSE: NLST) technology was incorporated into Cisco Systems' (Nasdaq: CSCO) new CRS-3 router which offers over 12 times the speed and capacity of current systems.

Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) chief financial officer Bob Brust said that debt will be reduced much more quickly and suggested that quarterly revenue may increase for the first time in four years.

On the downside

Superior Well Services (Nasdaq: SWSI) disappointed by swinging to a greater than expected fourth quarter loss as revenue tumbled.

Exelixis (Nasdaq: EXEL) reported a fourth quarter loss, announced the elimination of approximately 270 positions and plans to restructure the company.

Analysts were unimpressed by Texas Instruments' (NYSE: TXN) first quarter earnings guidance update.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by a margin of nearly 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 5 points to 672.

The markets opened to the upside with the Dow adding 14 points to 10,566 as investors continue to digest upbeat job loss data for February amidst high unemployment. Nasdaq rose 10 points to 2342.

 

On the upside

AgFeed Industries (Nasdaq: FEED) impressed with record revenue for 2009 as production volumes surged.

UBS upgraded Yum Brands (NYSE: YUM), operator of quick service franchises such as KFC and Pizza Hut, to a Buy rating.

United Airlines parent UAL (Nasdaq: UAUA) reported a 10.5% surge in passenger revenue for January.

On the downside

Although Microvision (Nasdaq: MVIS) narrowed fourth quarter losses, revenue dropped to fall short of estimates.

Invesco (NYSE: IVZ) reported that its assets under management for 2010 has fallen from end of December levels.

II-VI (Nasdaq: IIVI) withdrew its $10 per share acquisition offer for Zygo (Nasdaq: ZIGO).

In the broad market, advancing issues were on par with decliners on the NYSE while advancers barely edged out decliners by a slim margin on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 2 points to 669.

It was a mixed close for the markets with the Dow losing 13 points to 10,552 despite merger and acquisition news. Nasdaq added 5 points to 2333.

 

On the upside

Rothman Research analyst Mathew Collier said that STEC (Nasdaq: STEC) was well-run company at a bargain price.

Briefing.com reported that Maersk may be interested in acquiring DryShips (Nasdaq: DRYS).

BMO Capital Markets analyst Tim Long upgraded Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) and lifted his earnings estimate as well as price target for the BlackBerry maker saying that competitors are unable to steal market share from the company.

On the downside

AirFinancials.com reported that budget airlines are taking market share from legacy carriers weighed down share of American Airlines parent AMR (NYSE: AMR).

Universal Travel Group (NYSE: UTA) disappointed with lower fourth quarter earnings.

Barclays lowered its earnings estimate for RenaSola (NYSE: SOL).

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 7 to 5 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 4 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks edged up a point to 667.

The markets traded near the flatline during the midday with the Dow slipping 3 points to 10,562 while Nasdaq gained 7 points to 2333 as AIG unloads another business unit in order to raise capital to repay the government.

 

On the upside

Shares of Zanett (Nasdaq: ZANE) continued soaring after announcing last week that the company received $12 million in new contracts in January and February.

Helix Energy Solutions (NYSE: HLX) will sell its oil and gas business in order to concentrate on its deepwater wells contracting services business.

Shares of Callon Petroleum (NYSE: CPE) rose ahead of its earnings release after market close.

On the downside

Lexicon Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: LXRX) will raise capital through the sale of $95 million worth of stock through a public offering.

Poniard (Nasdaq: PARD) disappointed with a fourth quarter loss.

International Coal Group (NYSE: ICO) offered up to 21.1 million common shares along with up to $275 million worth of senior convertible notes.

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 added a fraction to 666.

A rally in the Asian markets lifted domestic markets to a higher open with the Dow adding 6 points to 10,572. Nasdaq rose 5 points to 2331.

 

On the upside

Xyratex (Nasdaq: XRTX) cited greater demand for lifting its guidance for the first quarter.

Origin Agritech (Nasdaq: SEED) announced a new strategic pesticide unit for premium branded chemical products.

American International Group (NYSE: AIG) announced plans to sell its American Life Insurance Co. unit to MetLife (NYSE: MET) for approximately $15.5 billion in cash and stock.

On the downside

Yingli Green Energy (NYSE: YGE) disappointed with fourth quarter earnings that fell short of expectations.

Reports circulated that Daimler AG (NYSE: DAI) will sell its approximate 5.34% stake in Tata Motors (NYSE: TTM).

Goldman Sachs downgraded AK Steel (NYSE: AKS) citing valuation concerns.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 10 to 9 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 665.

The markets closed higher with the Dow surging 122 points to 10,566 as the nation's unemployment rate held steady while fewer than expected jobs were shed last month. Nasdaq soared 34 points to 2326.

 

On the upside

Move Inc. (Nasdaq: MOVE) widened fourth quarter losses but revenue topped estimates and the company forecast first quarter revenue ahead of expectations.

Standard Motor Products (NYSE: SMP) narrowed fourth quarter losses as revenue rose to beat expectations.

L&L Energy (Nasdaq: LLEN) affirmed its 2010 earnings outlook.

On the downside

Dynamic Materials (Nasdaq: BOOM) disappointed with sharply lower fourth quarter earnings that missed expectations.

Fourth quarter earnings for Mentor Graphics (Nasdaq: MENT) rose but the software design solutions company warned of first quarter losses.

ArcSight (Nasdaq: ARST) reported lower third quarter earnings that fell short of expectations.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 7 to 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks leaped 13 points to 666.

Fewer than expected job losses in February lifted the markets higher during the midday with the Dow climbing 82 points to 10,526. Nasdaq gained 27 points to 2320.

 

On the upside

Zanett (Nasdaq: ZANE) announced that it received $12 million in new contracts in the January and February of 2010.

Zale (NYSE: ZLC) will raise revenue through the sale of leases on twelve New York store sites including premium locations on Fifth Avenue and Herald Square.

Patriot Coal (NYSE: PCX) placed two employees on administrative leave and fired one individual over accusations of falsified inspection records.

On the downside

Neurocrine Biosciences (Nasdaq: NBIX) priced its offering of 9.1 million common shares at $2.20 per share.

While Dot Hill (Nasdaq: HILL) narrowed fourth quarter losses, the results missed expectations.

Satcon Technology (Nasdaq: SATC) widened fourth quarter losses even as revenue rose.

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 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 11 points to 663.

The unemployment rate held steady in February offering hope that the job markets is on a slow mend. The markets opened higher with the Dow gaining 74 points to 10,519 while Nasdaq climbed 21 points to 2314.

 

On the upside

InterMune (Nasdaq: ITMN) will meet with the Food and Drug Administration's Pulmonary-Allergy Drugs Advisory Committee to discuss the company's idiopathic pulmonary firbrosis treatment pirfenidone.

Private equity firm ABRY Partners will take RCN (Nasdaq: RCNI) private in a deal valued at approximately $1.2 billion.

Barclays Capital upgraded Coldwater Creek (Nasdaq: CWTR) after the company forecast full year results ahead of estimates.

On the downside

Solarfun Power Holdings (Nasdaq: SOLF) swung to a profit for the fourth quarter but warned of lower PV module prices in the first quarter.

Green Plains Renewable Energy (Nasdaq: GPRE) priced its offering of 5.5 million common shares at $13.50 per share.

Overseas Shipholding Group (NYSE: OSG) will sell 3.5 million common shares through a public offering.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by 5 to 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks climbed 6 points to 658.

A greater than expected drop in first time jobless applications cheered investors who lifted that markets to a higher close with the Dow climbing 47 points to 10,444. Nasdaq gained 11 points to 2292.

 

On the upside

Fourth quarter earnings for Bell Microproducts (Nasdaq: BELM) more than doubled to top analyst estimates as revenue rose.

Family Dollar Stores (NYSE: FDO) reported higher February same store sales and lifted its outlook for the second quarter.

American International Group (NYSE: AIG) is close to resolving a tax issue that was stalling the $15 billion sale the company's foreign life insurance unit to MetLife (NYSE: MET).

On the downside

Celldex (Nasdaq: CLDX) widened fourth quarter losses due to acquisition related charges.

While second quarter earnings for Comtech Telecommunications (Nasdaq: CMTL) rose, revenue fell short of estimates and the communication solutions company cut its 2010 guidance.

Goldman Sachs analyst Steven Kent cited the sluggish economy for downgrading the gaming equipment sector sending shares of Bally Technologies (NYSE: BYI) tumbling.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 9 to 7 on the NYSE and by more than 7 to 5 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose 3 points to 652.

A sharp drop in pending home sales tempered news that initial applications for unemployment benefits fell last week. The markets traded modestly higher during the midday with the Dow adding 19 points to 10,415 while Nasdaq edged up a point to 2282.

 

On the upside

February same store sales leaped 11.2% for Zumiez (Nasdaq: ZUMZ) prompting upgrades.

Coldwater Creek (Nasdaq: CWTR) narrowed fourth quarter losses as sales rose to top estimates and the women's apparel retailer expects to post a profit for fiscal 2010.

An appeals court upheld a contempt ruling against Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH) and EchoStar (Nasdaq: SATS) in a patent infringement case filed by TiVo (Nasdaq: TIVO).

On the downside

Angiotech Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ANPI) disappointed with a fourth quarter loss.

Columbia Laboratories (Nasdaq: CBRX) sold the rights to its experimental premature birth prevention drug to Watson Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: WPI).

Fourth quarter results for Yamana Gold (NYSE: AUY) fell short of expectations.

In the broad market, declining issues barely edged out decliners by a slim margin on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks edged up a fraction to 649.

Gains in retail sales lifted the markets to a higher open with the Dow rising 37 points to 10,434. Nasdaq added 3 points to 2283.

 

On the upside

Fourth quarter results for PetSmart (Nasdaq: PETM) topped analyst estimates and the company forecast upbeat full year results.

Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF) impressed with a strong same store sales growth of 5% in February.

Suntech (NYSE: STP) reversed year ago losses to post a greater than expected profit for the fourth quarter as revenue rose.

On the downside

Ciena (NYSE: CT) blamed order delays and pending acquisition costs for widening first quarter losses.

Wendy's/Arby's Group (NYSE: WEN) narrowed fourth quarter losses but same store sales dropped and the fast food chain expects to spend more to increase its customer base.

Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD) reported a wider than expected drop in February same store sales.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 7 to 5 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 2 points to 652.

The Federal Reserve's report of very modest economic gains fueled fears of a protracted recovery sending the markets down to a lower close with the Dow losing 9 points to 10,396. Nasdaq eased a fraction to 2280.

 

On the upside

UFP Technologies (Nasdaq: UFPT) reported higher fourth quarter earnings that more than doubled as revenue rose.

DineEquity (NYSE: DIN) narrowed fourth quarter losses and expects revenue in 2010 to improve.

Global Hunter Securities upgraded AirMedia Group (Nasdaq: AMCN).

On the downside

Capital Trust (NYSE: CT) widened fourth quarter losses due to loan loss provisions.

Women's Wear Daily reported that Phillips-Van Heusen (NYSE: PVH) may be interested in acquiring Tommy Hilfiger from private equity firm Apax Partners.

BB&T Capital Markets downgraded Fresh Del Monte Produce (NYSE: FDP).

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 9 to 7 on the NYSE and by more than 10 to 9 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks edged up a fraction to 649.

Fewer Job Losses, Markets Up

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The markets traded higher during the midday with the Dow rising 25 points to 10,431 as employers eliminated fewer jobs in February. Nasdaq added 5 points to 2286.

 

On the upside

Andatee China Marine Fuel Services (Nasdaq: AMFC) swung to a fourth quarter profit as revenue surged.

KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Bradley Thomas lifted his earnings estimates for Ethan Allen Interiors (NYSE: ETH) after the company announced a 25% increase in written orders for the January to February period.

Fourth quarter earnings for Neteeza (NYSE: NZ) topped analyst estimates.

On the downside

The Securities and Exchange Commission is conducting an informal inquiry of Synovus Financial (NYSE: SNV) into possible securities violations.

Although fourth quarter earnings for BJ's Wholesale Club (NYSE: BJ) rose, the results fell short of estimates and the company forecast 2010 results below expectations.

RehabCare Group (NYSE: RHB) blamed acquisition related charges for a sharp drop in fourth quarter earnings.

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 rose 2 points to 651.

The nation's services sector expanded more than expected in February to lift the markets to a higher open with the Dow gaining 37 points to 10,443. Nasdaq rose 6 points to 2287.

 

On the upside

Private equity firm Elliott Associates made a $2 billion unsolicited bid to acquire Novell (Nasdaq: NOVL).

SouthWest Water (Nasdaq: SWWC) will be taken private by institutional investors in a deal valued at approximately $275 million.

Yingli Green Energy Holding (NYSE: YGE) will provide 10 megawatts of photovoltaic solar modules to SunDurance Energy.

On the downside

Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) and Medivation (Nasdaq: MDVN) announced that their Alzheimer's treatment Dimebon failed a late stage trial. Analysts downgraded Medivation.

Analysts downgraded VisionChina (Nasdaq: VISN) after the company forecast first quarter revenue well below expectations.

The February snow storms along the East Coast cost US Airways (NYSE: LCC) $30 million due to cancelled flights.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by 7 to 5 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a point to 650.

Despite corporate consolidations, the markets retreated from earlier gains to close barely above the flatline with the Dow adding 2 points to 10,405. Nasdaq gained 7 points to 2280.

 

On the upside

Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Pamela Bassett upgraded Sequenom (Nasdaq: SQNM) to a Buy rating after the biotech settled a class action lawsuit.

Rumors circulated that Massey Energy (NYSE: MEE) may purchase Patriot Coal (NYSE: PCX).

Fourth quarter earnings for McDermott International (NYSE: MDR) more than doubled.

On the downside

Arena Resources (NYSE: ARD) blamed sharply higher expenses for lower fourth quarter earnings that missed estimates.

Correctional facilities operator The GEO Group (NYSE: GEO) attributed the Federal Bureau of Prisons' solicitation cancellation for a facility in Baldwin, Michigan to funding problems.

TNS (NYSE: TNS) blamed refinancing expenses for widening fourth quarter losses. 

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners 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 climbed 5 points to 648.

Merger and acquisition activity lifted the markets higher during the midday with the Dow gaining 30 points to 10,433. Nasdaq rose 13 points to 2287.

 

On the upside

Sotheby's (NYSE: BID) swung to a profit for the fourth quarter that beat expectations due to lower expenses.

Herculers Offshore (Nasdaq: HERO) narrowed fourth quarter losses more than expected.

KKR Financial (NYSE: KFN) reversed year ago losses to post a profit for the fourth quarter.

On the downside

Xilinx terminated its distribution agreement with Nu Horizons Electronics (Nasdaq: NUHC) effective June 5, 2010.

Allos Therapeutics (Nasdaq: ALTH) blamed higher sales and marketing expenses for its cancer treatment Folotyn for reporting a wider than expected fourth quarter loss.

TRW Automotive Holdings (NYSE: TRW) will offer 11 million shares of common stock that is held by Automotive Investors. 

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 5 points to 648.

Optimism over a bailout package for Greece lifted the markets to a higher open with the Dow rising 27 points to 10,431. Nasdaq gained 10 points to 2284.

 

On the upside

The Food and Drug Administration approved CombinatoRx's (Nasdaq: CRXX) extended release opioid pain treatment Exalgo.

Terra Industries (NYSE: TRA), which has rejected past take-over offers from CF Industries (NYSE: CF), received another $4.74 billion bid from CF.

Fourth quarter earnings slipped for Questcor Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: QCOR) but the results best expectations by a wide margin.

On the downside

Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS) blamed restructuring and integration costs for lower fourth quarter earnings that missed expectations and forecast full year results below estimates.

NutriSystem (Nasdaq: NTRI) reversed year ago losses due to cost cutting measures but the weight loss company forecast first quarter results well below analyst expectations.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch slashed its price target for Prudential (NYSE: PUK) citing the insurer's $35 billion cash and stock acquisition of American Insurance Group's (NYSE: AIG) Asia operations. 

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 7 to 5 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 2 points to 645.

The markets rose to close higher with the Dow gaining 78 points to 10,403 as investors await details of the bailout package for Greece. Nasdaq climbed 35 points to 2273.

 

On the upside

Wedbush Morgan analyst Betsy Van Hees upgraded SanDisk (NYSE: SNDK) after the flash memory card company lifted its first quarter revenue guidance.

Baxter International's (NYSE: BAX) acquisition of ApaTech sparked speculation that Halozyme Therapeutics (Nasdaq: HALO) may be next on Baxter's takeover list.

PHH (NYSE: PHH) swung to a profit for the fourth quarter that beat analyst estimates by a wide margin.

On the downside

Wunderlich downgraded Sirius XM Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI) citing lower auto sales.

Collins Stewart analyst Bryan Maher downgraded DiamondRock Hospitality (NYSE: DRH) after the real estate investment trust disappointed with fourth quarter funds from operations that missed expectations.

American Water Works (NYSE: AWK) disappointed with flat fourth quarter earnings. 

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 7 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 3 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks leaped 14 points to 642.

A gain in January consumer spending lifted the markets during the midday with the Dow climbing 64 points to 10,390. Nasdaq gained 29 points to 2268.

 

On the upside

RiskMetrics Group (NYSE: RISK) will be acquired in a $1.55 billion cash and stock deal by MSCI (NYSE: MXB).

Dilliards (NYSE: DDS) swung to a profit as the department store chain cut costs.

USEC (NYSE: USU) nearly doubled its fourth quarter earnings as revenue rose.

On the downside

Although fourth quarter earnings for Perfect World (Nasdaq: PWRD) surged, the results missed expectations.

JPMorgan Chase cited valuation concerns for downgrading Taser International (Nasdaq: TASR).

Commercial Metals (NYSE: CMC) will either sell or simply close its joist and deck business. 

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 soared 11 points to 640.

Corporate consolidation and acquisition news lifted the markets to a higher open with the Dow gaining 50 points to 10,375. Nasdaq climbed 21 points to 2259.

 

On the upside

Japan's second largest drugmaker Astellas made an unsolicited $3.5 billion hostile bid for OSI Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: OSIP).

American International Group (NYSE: AIG) will sell its Asia business AIA to Britain's Prudential in a $35.5 billion cash and stock deal.

Merck (NYSE: MRK) will acquire Millipore (NYSE: MIL) for approximately $6 billion in cash.

On the downside

Shanda Interactive (Nasdaq: GAME) reported record revenue for the fourth quarter but profit was the weakest in three quarters.

HSBC Holdings (NYSE: HBC) blamed impairment charges for 2009 earnings that fell short of analyst expectations.

The Food and Drug Administration decision is expected today for CombinatoRx's (Nasdaq: CRXX) extended release opiood painkiller Exalgo. 

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 climbed 10 points to 639.

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