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
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.
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.