Closing Bell Report

The markets closed higher as investors anticipate another rate cut. The Dow soared 96 points to 12,480 while Nasdaq added 8 points to 2358.

On the upside

Although JetBlue Airways (Nasdaq: JBLU) swung to a fourth quarter loss due to higher fuel expenses, the airliner posted higher revenue and increased traffic.

Hypo Real Estate Capital will pay $10.6506 per share in cash to acquire the 65.3% of Quadra Realty Trust (NYSE: QRR) that the company does not already own.

CNX Gas (NYSE: CXG) will be acquired by Consol Energy (NYSE: CNX) in a deal valued at approximately $932 million.

On the downside

Amylin Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: AMLN) blamed higher marketing costs for widening fourth quarter losses and forecast disappointing 2008 results.

While Smith International (NYSE: SII) forecast reported higher fourth quarter earnings, the results fell short of expectations.

United States Steel (NYSE: X) blamed acquisition costs, lower prices and job cuts for sharply lower fourth quarter earnings.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 9 to 7 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 3 points to 705.

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