April 10, 2008 at 17:21 PM EDT
Closing Bell Report

A larger than expected drop in unemployment claims last week lifted the markets to a modestly higher close with with the Dow rising 55 points to 12,582. Nasdaq climbed 30 points to 2352.

On the upside

Second quarter earnings for FCStone Group (Nasdaq: FCSX) surged to beat estimates as revenue climbed.

Teen retailer Aeropostale (NYSE: ARO) reported that March same store sales climbed 2.5%, more than the expected 1.4% gain.

Banc of America upgraded National Semiconductor (NYSE: NSM) saying that the company can improve its profit margin.

On the downside

Jefferies & Co. analyst Romeo Reyes downgraded Virgin Media (Nasdaq: VMED) and slashed his price target for the company after the company announced the sale of $1 billion in bonds.

Stage Stores (NYSE: SSI) slashed its first quarter outlook due to sharply lower same store sales for March.

JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM) reduced its stake in Ambac Financial Group (NYSE: ABK) from 7.7% to 0.4%.


In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by more than 7 to 5 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 9 points to 707.

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