On the upside
Visual Sciences (Nasdaq: VSCN) will be acquired by Omniture in a cash and stock deal valued at approximately $372 million.
Billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian offered $64 a share to take a minority stake in Tesoro (NYSE: TSO).
MEMC Electronic Materials (NYSE: WFR) reported sharply higher third quarter earnings.
On the downside
Although Varian Semiconductor (Nasdaq: VSEA) surpassed expectations for the fourth quarter, the company forecast first quarter results below estimates.
Waste Management (NYSE: WMIG) blamed a labor dispute as well as higher crude oil prices for a drop in third quarter earnings. The garbage hauler also lowered its full year outlook.
Friedman Billings (NYSE: ABK) downgraded Ambac Financial Group.
In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 7 to 5 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 89 points to 814.