A greater than expected jump in consumer confidence lifted the markets to a higher open with the Dow rising 38 points to 13,598. Nasdaq gained 9 points to 3169. On the upside
Sidewinder Drilling will pay a premium of approximately $139 million to acquire Union Drilling (Nasdaq: UDRL). Bargain hunters lifted shares of Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: PPHM) whose stock price plummeted yesterday after warning of discrepancies in a lung cancer drug trial. Genetic Technologies (Nasdaq: GENE) received clearance to sell its breast cancer genetic test BREVAGen in Florida. On the downside Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS) will close approximately 60 stores worldwide and focus on its online business. Odyssey Marine Exploration (Nasdaq: OMEX) blamed weather conditions for deferring recovery work on two shipwrecks until the second quarter of 2013. Key Energy Services (NYSE: KEG) warned that third quarter revenue would fall short of expectations. 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 4 points to 856.