While a majority of economists acknowledged that the economy is in a recession, the markets closed modestly higher as investors focused on Standard & Poor's prediction that asset writedowns are near an end. The Dow rose 36 points to 12,146 while Nasdaq climbed 20 points to 2264.
On the upside
LDK Solar (NYSE: LDK) has sold nearly all of its solar wafer capacity for both 2008 and 2009.
Creditors of Cumulus Media (Nasdaq: CMLS) agreed to allow the radio station operator to merge with an investment group.
Fourth quarter earnings for JA Solar Holdings (NYSE: JASO) surged as revenue tripled while the company forecast 2008 revenue well ahead of estimates.
On the downsideLower third quarter revenue for Handleman (NYSE: HDL) weighed down earnings.