The markets traded higher during the midday as billionaire investor Carl Icahn announced plans to oust Yahoo's board for actions that prompted Microsoft to withdraw its $47.5 billion buyout offer. The Dow gained 30 points to 12,928 while Nasdaq climbed 19 points to 2516.
On the upside
Second quarter earnings for Agilent Technologies (NYSE: A) rose to surpass estimates as Asia Pacific region sales increased.
Sotheby's (NYSE: BID) reported $362 million in sales for its contemporary art auction Wednesday night with Francis Bacon's "Triptych, 1976" selling for a record $86 million.
Higher airline ticket sales lifted first quarter earnings for Ctrip.com International (Nasdaq: CTRP) but the Chinese travel services web site cut its second quarter guidance after a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck central China.
On the downside
Analysts downgraded Salary.com (Nasdaq: SLRY) after the company reported a wider than expected fourth quarter loss due to disappointing sales and forecast first quarter results below estimates.
Yingli Green Energy (NYSE: YGE) reported higher revenues and earnings that beat expectations but the stock price fell as investors took profits.
In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 7 to 5 on the NYSE and by more than 10 to 9 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 2 points to 738.