March 19, 2008 at 12:24 PM EDT
Mid-Day Report

The markets traded modestly higher during the midday as Morgan Stanley beat estimates and high energy prices weakend demand for oil. Dow Jones gained 23 points to 12,416 while Nasdaq rose 4 points to 2273.

On the upside

Darden Restaurants (NYSE: DRI) reported higher third quarter earnings as sales at Olive Garden rose.

MF Global (NYSE: MF) issued a press release asserting that the company has approximately $1.4 billion in unused committed liquidity facilities and that rumors to the contrary are false.

Shares of Visa (NYSE: V) soared in its market debut.

On the downside

Although no new agreement has been submitted to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, 3Com (Nasdaq: COMS) will hold its shareholder meeting as planned to vote on the proposed $2.2 billion deal by Bain Capital Partners and Huawei Technologies to take 3Com private.

Internap Network Services (Nasdaq: INAP) applied for a filing extension for its annual report prompting a downgrade.

Thornburg Mortgage (NYSE: TMA) must raise nearly $1 billion in seven business days to avoid bankruptcy.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 4 to 3 on the NYSE and by nearly 9 to 7 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 3 points to 685.

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