Despite an increase in the nation's unemployment rate and the loss of 80,000 jobs in March, the markets rose during the midday with the Dow gaining 29 points to 12,655. Nasdaq climbed 16 points to 2379.
On the upside
"Mad Money's" Jim Cramer recommended First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR) as the best solar company because it uses a less pricey proprietary thin film technology instead of expensive silicone.
Massey Energy (NYSE: MEE) cited rising coal prices for increasing its capital spending to further expansion projects.
LDK Solar (NYSE: LDK) signed multi-year wafer supply deals with Silcio SA and Arise Corp. as well as a polysilicon sourcing agreement.
On the downside
While full year revenue rose for DemandTec (Nasdaq: DMAN), the company reported wider losses.
Shares of General Motors (NYSE: GM) fell after a private equity group led by Appaloosa Management withdrew its $2.55 billion agreement to invest in auto parts supplier Dephi Corp.
Mesa Air Group (Nasdaq: MESA) reported a sharp 17% drop in traffic as capacity tumbled.
In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more nearly 3 to 2 on the NYSE and by more than 9 to 7 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 5 points to 718.