Opening Bell Report

Moderate inflation news boosted the markets at the opening bell to extend yesterday's rally. The Dow rose 19 points to 12,165 while Nasdaq climbed 8 points to 2272.

On the upside

Sterling Construction Company (Nasdaq: STRL) posted profits that beat estimates due to favorable weather conditions for heavy construction in Nevada and Texas.

Shares of Exelixis (Nasdaq: EXEL) surged after its compound was selected by Genentech (NYSE: DNA) for further development.

An analyst raised his opinion of Zumiez (Nasdaq: ZUMZ) after the athletic clothing and accessories retailer posted higher earnings in the 4th quarter.

On the downside

Bear Stearns (NYSE: BSC) received a lifeline after getting a short-term funding commitment from JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

China-related industrials sold off with shares of China Petroleum and Chemical (NYSE: SNP) falling in early trading.

PowerSecure International (Nasdaq: POWR) reported record revenues and profits in the 4th quarter, but the power equipment maker set a new policy of not providing guidance going forward.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a point to 681.

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