The markets opened higher as investors focused on February's inflation numbers which were relatively tame when excluding the volatile energy and food components. The Dow rose 30 points to 12,332 while Nasdaq added 2291.
On the upside
Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) reported higher profits. Analysts promptly upgraded the software distributor.
The Finish Line (Nasdaq: FINL) posted a loss that beat expectations as the footwear retailer tackled slower consumer demand.
Shares of Tessera Technologies (Nasdaq: TSRA) soared after the International Trade Commissions overruled a court's decision to stay a wireless patent case against rivals.
On the downside
Despite a court order, the banks behind the private equity firms that offered to buy Clear Channel Communications (NYSE: CCU) may not be able to provide financing, according to the company's regulatory filings.
J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP) warned that profits may suffer as consumers reduce spending.
KB Home (NYSE: KBH) posted another loss as the homebuilder took a large write-down to account for falling home prices.
In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 4 to 3 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 4 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks edged up a fraction to 692.