The markets opened higher as investors mulled over the latest combination of modest wholesale inflation numbers and slow retail sales. The Dow added 25 points to 13,332 while Nasdaq rose 4 points to 2677.
On the upside
Bear Stearns (NYSE: BSC) wrote down another $1.1 billion in subprime-related losses, but investors were hopeful that the latest move would stabilize the investment bank's portfolio.
Shares of E-Trade (Nasdaq: ETFC) continued to rebound on rumors that it may be acquired by a large banking institution.
Baidu.com (Nasdaq: BIDU) whose shares had been experiencing volatile price swings was upgraded by an analyst for its discounted valuation.
On the downside
Mylan (NYSE: MYL) announced the placement of $4.1 billion in debt to acquire Merck.
Cerberus Capital Management and United Rentals (NYSE: URI) extended the deadline for its debt tender offer to November 16 selling $2.55 billion in high-yield notes to fund the acquisition of the equipment rental company.
Greek drybulk shipper Excel Maritime Carriers (NYSE: EXM) reported profits that doubled, but failed to meet analysts' estimates.
In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by 5 to 4 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 2 points to 792.