Mixed Open As Retail Sales Edge Up

The markets opened mixed with the Dow slipping 4 points to 14,013 while Nasdaq climbed 16 points to 3203 as retail sales edged up a modest 0.1% in January.

On the upside

Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: PPHM) reported positive results from a Phase II clinical trial of bavituximab for treating patients with Stage IV pancreatic cancer.

Sterne, Agee & Leach analyst Arvind Bhatia upgraded Groupon (Nasdaq: GRPN) to a Buy rating and established a $9 price target for the online daily deals company.

Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) will pay approximately $16.7 billion to acquire the remaining 49% of NBC Universal that it does not already own.

On the downside

Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE: CLF) blamed significant impairment charges for falling to a loss for the fourth quarter.

Rackspace Hosting (NYSE: RAX) reported higher fourth quarter earnings but revenue fell short of analyst expectations prompting a downgrade.

America Movil (NYSE: AMX) disappointed with lower fourth quarter earnings that missed expectations as revenue fell.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by more than 9 to 7 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 index rose 4 points to 1523.

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