Closing Bell Report

Solid preliminary earnings results from IBM boosted the markets to a higher close with the Dow leaping 172 points to 12,778. Nasdaq jumped 38 points to 2478.

On the upside

Converted Organics (Nasdaq: COIN) paid a stock dividend today of one share for each twenty shares of common stock to stockholders of record December 31, 2007.

Lone Pine Capital disclosed that it has purchased a 5.4% stake in American Eagle Outfitter (NYSE: AEO).

Jim Cramer reaffirmed his opinion that agricultural firm Mosiac Co. (NYSE: MOS) is a solid stock.

On the downside

Steak n Shake (NYSE: SNS) blamed sharply lower same store sales for warning of a loss for the first quarter.

Downey Financial (NYSE: DSL) reclassifed $99 million in loans to non-performing status due to a change in accounting procedures.

NovaStar Financial (NYSE: NFI) announced plans last week to let most of its remaining employees go and will not renew its mortgage licenses. The subprime mortgage lender will also lose its listing on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 3 to 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks soared 8 points to 712.

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