Opening Bell Report

The markets opened higher as investors mulled over the latest batch of corporate news along with increased consumer spending driven by rising food and energy costs. The Dow added 22 points to 12,843 while Nasdaq rose 28 points to 2441.

On the upside

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is considering a slightly higher bid for Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO), according to a number of media outlets. Yahoo had been pursuing other options in its belief that the original offer of $31 a share in cash and stock was too low.

Analysts raised their opinion on shares of credit card processor Visa (NYSE: V).

Human resources management provider Administaff (NYSE: ASF) posted sharply higher earnings.

On the downside

Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) posted higher profits, but the results fell short of lofty expectations on Wall Street. Limited refinery production slowed earnings growth while costs increased.

Eastman Kodak (NYSE: EK) reported a smaller loss as sales edged up. The cost of ramping up into the digital imaging space had exceeded $3.4 billion through the last three years.

Hospital operator LifePoint Hospitals (Nasdaq: LPNT) reported better than expected results for the 1st quarter. However, plans to acquire more hospitals worried investors.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 3 on both the NYSE and Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 4 points to 720.

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