Opening Bell Report

The markets opened mixed as investors mulled over the latest corporate earnings news while keeping an eye on higher oil prices. The major indexes were higher with the Dow adding 36 points to 13,023 and Nasdaq jumping 13 points to 2542.

On the upside

Greek dry bulk carrier Excel Maritime Carriers (NYSE: EXM) reported profits that tripled to beat forecasts.

Excluding a goodwill writedown, Pacific Ethanol (Nasdaq: PEIX) posted higher earnings and revenues. Analysts had expected a modest loss and were worried about margins due to higher corn prices.

China-related stocks traded higher with investors snapping up shares of China Precision Steel (Nasdaq: CPSL) and Solarfun Power (Nasdaq: SOLF) in heavy trading.


On the downside

Lowe's Cos.(NYSE: LOW) posted a decline in profits and a slight dip in revenues. The 2nd largest home improvement retailer in the U.S. also issued a lower outlook for the year.

Video game publisher Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS) extended the deadline for the 3rd time its offer to buy smaller rival Take-Two Interactive Software (Nasdaq: TTWO). The offer remained at $2 billion or $25.74 a share.

Shares of NexCen Brands (Nasdaq: NEXC) tumbled after the cookie and pretzel franchise operator delayed its filings and warned about liquidity problems.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a narrow margin on the NYSE and were edged out by a margin of 10 to 9 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped a point to 740.
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