Higher Open As Jobless Claims Drop

A greater than expected drop in first time applications for unemployment benefits lifted the markets to a higher open with the Dow rising 24 points to 16,097. Nasdaq gained 16 points to 4033.

On the upside

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) reversed year ago losses to post a better than expected profit for the fourth quarter.

Eltek (Nasdaq: ELTK) reported sharply higher third quarter earnings as revenue rose.

Motley Fool noted that George Soros recently bought 590,278 shares of DryShips (Nasdaq: DRYS).

On the downside

Infoblox (NYSE: BLOX) reported higher first quarter earnings and revenue but the company forecast current quarter results below analyst expectations.

Bio-Reference Laboratories (Nasdaq: BRLI) warned of lower fourth quarter earnings.

Investors locked in profits on Echo Therapeutics (Nasdaq: ECTE).

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 4 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 rose 4 points to 1806. Bitcoin climbed $40.25 or 4.21% to $996.25.

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