Strong earnings results tempered news of sharply lower home construction and higher consumer prices to lift the markets higher during the midday with the Dow leaping 188 points to 12,550. Nasdaq jumped 54 points to 2340.
On the upside
First quarter earnings for Knight Capital Group (Nasdaq: NITE) rose to surpass estimates as revenue from its global markets business climbed.
Shares of Agrium (NYSE: AGU) surged as the price of fertilizer exports to China more than doubled.
On the downside
Healthcare Services Group (Nasdaq: HCSG) blamed a sharp drop in investment and interest income for lower first quarter earnings that fell short of expectations.
Hedge fund group GLG Partners (NYSE: GLG) restated financial results for 2006 and 2007. The company also announced the resignation then the resignation withdrawal of portfolio manager Greg Coffey.
Shares of Safeway (NYSE: SWY) dropped after the American Farm Bureau reported a 9% jump in the cost of 16 basic groceries from a year ago.
In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 15 points to 707.