Drop In Jobless Claims Lifts Markets

A larger than expected drop in first time applications for unemployment benefits lifted the markets to a higher open with the Dow gaining 59 points to 14,735. Nasdaq climbed 26 points to 3296.

On the upside

Brookfield Office Properties (NYSE: BPO) will pay premium of $3.15 per share in cash to acquire MPG Office Trust (NYSE: MPG) .

Infinera (Nasdaq: INFN) narrowed first quarter losses more than expected as revenue climbed.

Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE: CLF) reported lower first quarter earnings as iron ore prices dropped but the results surpassed analyst expectations.

On the downside

Zynga (Nasdaq: ZNGA) swung to an unexpected profit for the first quarter but revenue dropped and the online gaming company forecast current quarter results below estimates.

Safeway (NYSE: SWY) reported higher first quarter earnings but revenue slipped to fall short of expectations.

Intuit (Nasdaq: INTU) trimmed its third quarter and full year guidance citing a challenging tax season.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 5 to 2 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 index climbed 10 points to 1588.

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