Existing home sales climbed more than expected last month to lift the markets to a sharply higher open with the Dow surging 152 points to 12,741. Nasdaq jumped 40 points to 2893. On the upside
Lowe's (NYSE: LOW) reported sharply higher third quarter earnings that topped analyst estimates and lifted its full year guidance. China Business News reported that Alibaba Group will acquire a 15% to 20% stake in Sina's (Nasdaq: SINA) Weibo microblogging site. Wright Medical Group (Nasdaq: WMGI) will pay approximately $190 million in cash and stock to acquire BioMimetic Therapeutics (Nasdaq: BMTI). On the downside Global Hunter Securities downgraded DryShips (Nasdaq: DRYS) on Friday to a Neutral rating. Jefferies downgraded Diamond Foods (Nasdaq: DMND) to an Underperform rating. Wells Fargo downgraded K12 (NYSE: LRN) from Outperform to Market Perform. In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 10 to 1 on the NYSE and by 5 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks soared 11 points to 787.