Jobless Claims Drop, Markets Soar

First time applications for unemployment benefits dropped to its lowest level in nearly six years to send the markets soaring with the Dow leaping 101 points to 15,375. Nasdaq surged 30 points to 3791.

On the upside

American Industrial Partners will acquire Flow International (Nasdaq: FLOW) in a deal valued at ore than $200 million.

Forbes noted that twelve Walter Energy (NYSE: WLT) directors and officers have acquired shares in the company over the past six months.

KiOR (Nasdaq: KIOR) will double the production capacity at its cellulosic fuels facility in Columbus, Mississippi.

On the downside

Hertz Global Holdings (NYSE: HTZ) blamed weak rental volumes at U. S airports for lowering its full year guidance.

Westport Innovations (Nasdaq: WPRT) priced its public offering of 6 million common shares at the discounted price of $25.39 per share.

Jabil Circuit (NYSE: JBL) reported higher fourth quarter earnings that topped analyst estimates but the company forecast current quarter earnings below expectations.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 2 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 gained 9 points to 1701.

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