Markets Advance On Ballmer's Retirement

The markets traded higher during the midday with the Dow rising 11 points to 14,975 as investors welcomed news of Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer's retirement within the next year. Nasdaq gained 11 points to 3650.

On the upside

Net 1 Ueps Technologies (Nasdaq: UEPS) reported higher second quarter earnings that beat analyst expectations as revenue rose.

Expedia (Nasdaq: EXPE) and Travelocity entered an exclusive marketing agreement.

Independent Bank (Nasdaq: IBCP) priced its public offering of 11.5 million common shares at the discounted price of $7.75 per share.

On the downside

GlaxoSmithKline reported disappointing results from a Phase III SHIELD-1 study of the Crohn's disease treatment vercirnon that was licensed from ChemoCentryx (Nasdaq: CCXI).

DFC Global (Nasdaq: DFC) reversed year ago losses to post a profit for the fourth quarter but revenue fell short of expectations.

Deutsche Bank downgraded Dendreon (Nasdaq: DNDN) from a Hold rating to a Sell rating.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 5 to 3 on the NYSE while decliners edged out advancers by more than 10 to 9 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 rose 2 points to 1659.

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