Mid-Day Report

Falling oil prices lifted the markets higher during the midday with the Dow soaring 237 points to 12,981. Nasdaq jumped 40 points to 2581.

On the upside

AspenBio Pharma (Nasdaq: APPY) is pursuing regulatory approval to sell its appendicitis blood test AppyScore.

Directed Electronics (Nasdaq: DEIX) extended and enhanced its distribution agreement with Sirius Satellite Radio.

Punk Ziegel & Co. analyst Richard Bove upgraded Regions Financial (NYSE: RF) saying that earnings should rise in 2008 as well as 2009.

On the downside

Bare Escentuals (Nasdaq: BARE) announced that Diane Miles, its president of wholesale and international sales, resigned to pursue other interests.

Arbitron (NYSE: ARB) will delay the introduction of a new electronic radio audience measurement system in nine key cities after broadcaster protested that the data was not reliable.

Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE:CNQ) cited a new royalty system n the Province of Alberta as well as low commodity prices for forecasting lower natural gas production next year.

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 climbed 9 points to 744.

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