March 20, 2008 at 15:52 PM EDT
Closing Bell Report

Investors embraced easing oil prices and snapped up bargains to lift the markets sharply higher with the Dow leaping 262 points to 12,361. Nasdaq soared 48 points to 2258.

On the upside

AbitibiBowater (NYSE: ABH) restructured $496 million in debt securities.

Shares of Visa (NYSE: V) continued to soar a day after its initial public offering.

PNM Resources (NYSE: PNM) responded to the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission's rate recommendation with an accusation that the regulators failed to consider the financial health of PNM while incorrectly assessing the capacity of certain plants.

On the downside

While MedAssets (Nasdaq: MDAS) reported fourth quarter earnings ahead of expectations, the company forecast 2008 results below estimates.

In order to repay debt, CIT Group (NYSE: CIT) borrowed $7.3 billion through credit lines and is looking for new sources of funding.

Flotek Industries (NYSE: FTK) reported higher fiscal 2007 results but the stock price fell.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 8 to 3 on the NYSE and by 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 17 points to 681.

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