Initial applications for unemployment benefits slipped last week to lift the markets to a higher open with the Dow rising 14 points to 13,189. Nasdaq added 7 points to 3018. On the upside
National Oilwell Varco (NYSE: NOV) will pay approximately $2.5 billion in cash to acquire Robbins & Myers (NYSE: RBN). Second quarter earnings slipped for Allscripts Healthcare Solutions (Nasdaq: MDRX) but the company lifted its full year guidance. Sprint (NYSE: S) president of strategic planning Keith Cowan will leave the telecommunications firm on September 30, 2012. On the downside Monster Beverage (Nasdaq: MNST) reported higher second quarter earnings but the results fell short of analyst expectations.Sagent Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SGNT) reported higher second quarter earnings and revenue but the company lowered its full year outlook. Doral Financial (NYSE: DRL) fell to a loss for the second quarter. In the broad market, advancing issues edged out decliners by a margin of nearly 9 to 7 on the NYSE and by nearly 10 to 9 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks held steady at 800.