The major indexes rose in quiet trading to close early for the Christmas holiday. The Dow closed at 13,549, up 98 points while Nasdaq rose 21 points to finish the session at 2713.
On the upside
BAE Systems offered $367 million to buy MTC Technologies (Nasdaq: MTCT) which also won a $4.1 million contract to provide maintenance on a Philippine Air Force aircraft for one year.
An analyst upgraded Quilmes Industrial (NYSE: LQU), a South American maker of beer and soft drink bottler.
Trex (NYSE: TWP) received positive coverage in the latest issue of Barron's as a survivor in the housing construction shakeout.
On the downside
Shares of Consolidated Water (Nasdaq: CWCO) tumbled after Barron's questioned the likelihood of a resolution between the Caribbean utility and the government of the British Virgin Islands.
Shares of Palomar Medical Technologies (Nasdaq: PMTI) continued to lose ground after the laser cosmetic maker announced that it would renegotiate its product development agreement with Gilette.
Merrill Lynch & Company (NYSE: MER) gave up earlier gains after the nation's largest brokerage raised $6.2 billion.
In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by a margin of 3 to 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose 6 points to 792.