Mid-Day Report

Despite earnings concerns, the markets traded modestly higher during the midday with the Dow rising 24 points to 12,350 as retail sales inched up in March. Nasdaq added 3 points to 2293.

On the upside

CapitalSource (NYSE: CSE) will pay approximately $58 million to acquire Fremont General's (NYSE: FMT) 22 retail branches as well as $5.6 billion in deposits.

Raymond James upgraded AirTran (NYSE: AAI) after the low cost carrier allayed liquidity concerns by reminding investors that the company increased its reserve by $32 million between December 31 and March 31.

The National Petroleum Agency of Brazil announced that the Carioca offshore oil discovery made by Petrobas (NYSE: PBR) may contain as much as 33 billion barrels of oil equivalent, the largest find in thirty years.

On the downside

Carpenter Technology (NYSE: CRS) blamed high expenses and disappointing demand for warning that third quarter results will fall short of estimates.

BMO Capital Markets analyst Avram Fisher downgraded Perini (NYSE: PCR) saying that the company paid too much to acquire Tutor-Saliba.

Shares of Citigroup (NYSE: C) tumbled after Wachovia (NYSE: WB) reported a loss for the first quarter. Citigroup will release first quarter earnings this week.

In the broad market, declining issues barely outpaced advancers by a slim margin on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 3 points to 691.

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