Opening Bell Report

The markets opened higher to extend yesterday's rally as investors snapped up stocks in the financial services sector. The Dow climbed 70 points to 12,227 while Nasdaq rose 11 points to 2267.

On the upside

Teen clothing retailer American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE: AEO) posted lower 4th quarter profits, but reiterated guidance for the current quarter.

Talbots (NYSE: TLB) announced a 4th quarter loss, but the results were better than expected. The women's apparel company's turnaround efforts appeared to be paying off due to store closures and inventory controls.

Hardwood flooring retailer Lumber Liquidators (NYSE: LL) reported higher earnings due to brisk sales of higher margin products.

On the downside

Health insurance provider Humana (NYSE: HUM) became the latest casualty in the industry to lower its earnings outlook due to higher prescription costs.

UPS (NYSE: UPS) warned that it may miss its 1st quarter forecast and planned to focus its courier business on overseas growth.

Telecommunications carrier Global Crossing (Nasdaq: GLBC) returned to profitability in the 4th quarter citing increased network sales to corporations, but investors sold off on the news.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 4 on the NYSE and by 10 to 9 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks held steady at 673.

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