The markets opened higher with the Dow rising 51 points to 14,052 as Italian polls indicated that pro-reform candidate Pier Luigi Bersani would defeat three time Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Nasdaq gained 16 points to 3178.
On the upside
Shares of Zynga (Nasdaq: ZNGA) continued rising after Nevada legalized online gambling last week.
Royalty Pharma offered a premium of approximately $6.6 billion to acquire Elan (NYSE: ELN).
Hertz Global (NYSE: HTZ) fell to a loss for the fourth quarter but the results beat expectations and the car rental company forecast 2013 results ahead of estimates.
On the downside
Affymax (Nasdaq: AFFY) and Takeda Pharmaceutical recalled their anemia treatment Omontys in response to serious hypersensitivity reactions.
The Food and Drug Administration rejected Dynavax Technologies' (Nasdaq: DVAX) hepatitis B vaccine Heplisav.
3D Systems (NYSE: DDD) reported higher fourth quarter earnings but revenue fell 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 7 to 5 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 index added 4 points to 1520.