Markets Advance On Fed Hopes

The markets advanced during the midday with the Dow leaping 171 points to 15,241 as investors grew more confidant that the Federal Reserve would maintain its bond buying program. Nasdaq jumped 43 points to 3466.

On the upside

The Defense Department awarded iRobot (Nasdaq: IRBT) a contract to provide robotic systems and spare parts for up to $30 million.

Several sources said that a number of firms were interested in acquiring ViroPharma (Nasdaq: VPHM).

Nomura affirmed its Buy rating for Canadian Solar (Nasdaq: CSIQ) and lifted its price target from $6.90 to $25.

On the downside

Shares of Medivation (Nasdaq: MDVN) fell on news that Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) acquired Aragon Pharmaceuticals, which is developing a prostate cancer treatment that will compete with Medivation's Xtandi.

Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE: ANR) extended its losses from Friday when data indicated that steel production in China fell in late May.

Shares of Walter Energy (NYSE: WLT) continued falling after the company cancelled its refinancing plans on Friday.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 index soared 17 points to 1644.

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