April 04, 2013 at 12:38 PM EDT
Mixed Markets Over Employment Data

A drop in March planned layoffs tempered news of an unexpected gain in first time applications for unemployment benefits last week. The markets traded mixed during the midday with the Dow gaining 28 points to 14,578 while Nasdaq eased a point to 3216.

On the upside

Bargain hunters lifted shares of Hecla Mining (NYSE: HL), whose stock price fell earlier this week when the company announced a senior notes offering.


Sterling Bancorp (NYSE: STL) will merge with Provident New York Bancorp (NYSE: PBNY) in a stock deal valued at approximately $344 million.

A Seeking Alpha contributor listed Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (NYSE: MTU) as one of four dividend paying Japanese stocks with upside potential.


On the downside


Investors locked in profits on Microvision (Nasdaq: MVIS), whose stock price soared yesterday on a development deal.


Harvest Natural Resources (NYSE: HNR) reported a drop in proved reserves at its 32% owned Venezuelan affiliate Petrodelta.


Profit taking sank shares of NII Holdings (Nasdaq: NIHD), whose stock price surged yesterday on reports that the wireless communications provider was in discussions to sell its Peru business.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 3 to 2 on the NYSE and by more than 10 to 9 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 index rose 4 points to 1558.

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