Closing Bell Report

Upbeat earnings lifted the markets to a modestly higher close with the Dow climbing 45 points to 13,567. Nasdaq soared 29 points to 2754.

On the upside

The estate of Craig Neilsen, which owns a majority of Ameristar Casinos (Nasdaq: ASCA), is exploring strategic alternatives for its stake in the casino operator.

Zebra Technologies (Nasdaq: ZBRA) swung to a third quarter profit as margins improved.

Shares of Standard Pacific (NYSE: SPF) rose as short sellers bought to cover their positions.

On the downside

Lehman Bros. expects pressure on MetroPCS (NYSE: PCS) after the IPO lockup expired last week.

Natural Health Trends (Nasdaq: BHIP) sold $3.74 million in convertible debentures and warrants through a private placement.

Analysts downgraded and slashed the price target for Angiotech (Nasdaq: ANPI) after the pharmaceutical cut its full year outlook.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 10 to 9 on the NYSE and by a margin of nearly 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks soared 11 points to 810.

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