The markets opened higher on an upbeat earnings report while housing construction fell to a 16-year low. The Dow rose 62 points to 13,229 while Nasdaq climbed 14 points to 2588.
On the upside
Shares of Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) rose after the world's largest investment bank posted higher revenues and earnings essentially sidestepping the mortgage-based portfolio problems impacting its rivals.
Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) posted higher revenues and earnings as holiday shoppers bought more high ticket items such as flat panel TV's.
Analysts expected a smooth transition at drugmaker Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) after its president and COO takes over the top position in April 2008.
On the downside
Shares of Morningstar (Nasdaq: MORN) lost ground after the company announced a $51.6 million cash deal to acquire Hemscott data and investor relations businesses.
Zymogenetics (Nasdaq: ZGEN) announced the start of mid-stage trials for its cancer drug treatment, but an analyst downgraded the stock.
Housewares retailer Tuesday Morning (Nasdaq: TUES) lowered its 2008 outlook on expectations of slower same-store sales growth in the low single digits.
In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 5 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 3 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 6 points to 745.