Service Sector Expands, Markets Soar

Greater than expected expansion of the service sector in February sent the markets soaring during the midday with the Dow leaping 140 points to 14,268. Nasdaq jumped 38 points 3220.

On the upside

Seeking Alpha suggested that Himax (Nasdaq: HIMX) will supply microdisplays for the Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Glass.

Second quarter earnings fell for Ascena Retail Group (Nasdaq: ASNA) but the results were better than expected.

Shares of Radian Group (NYSE: RDN) continued climbing after an upgrade yesterday.

On the downside

February same store sales fell 2.2% for Walgreens (NYSE: WAG).

CommonWealth REIT (NYSE: CWH) closed its offering of 34.5 million common shares.

Shares of Xinuan Real Estate (NYSE: XIN) fell after China unveiled plans to increase minimum down payments and loan rates for second home buyers.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 7 to 2 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 2 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 index soared 15 points to 1540.

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