Private employers added more jobs than expected in February to lift the markets to a higher open with the Dow gaining 58 points to 14,312. Nasdaq added 4 points 3228.
On the upside
Petrobas (NYSE: PBR) increased diesel fuel prices by 5%.
MGIC Investment (NYSE: MTG) announced plans to raise capital through the sale of 135 million common shares and $350 million in convertible senior notes.
VeriFone Systems (NYSE: PAY) swung to a better than expected profit for the first quarter.
On the downside
American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE: AEO) reported higher fourth quarter earnings but warned of lower same store sales for the current quarter and forecast earnings well below expectations.
Smith & Wesson (NYSE: SWHC) reported sharply higher third quarter earnings that more than tripled but shares of the gun maker fell over concerns that lawmakers may ban some weapons.
AeroVironment (Nasdaq: AVAV) blamed government delays for sharply lower third quarter earnings that missed expectations by a wide margin.
In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by more than 7 to 5 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 index rose 4 points to 1544.