Retreating oil prices boosted the markets to a modestly higher close with the Dow gaining 24 points to 12,626. Nasdaq climbed 16 points to 2464.
On the upside
Standard & Poor's Equity Research upgraded Sovereign Bancorp (NYSE: SOV) citing the recent decline in the stock price.
Second quarter earnings for Eaton Vance (NYSE: EV) more than doubled prompting Goldman Sachs analyst Marc Irizarry to lift his 2009 and 2010 full year earnings estimates.
ExpressJet Airlines (NYSE: XJT) blamed record fuel expenses and overcapacity for eliminating 30% of its flights.
On the downside
Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD) announced plans to offer $150 million in convertible notes. Rite Aid CEO Mary Sammons' compensation package for fiscal 2008 was valued at $5.6 million.
Jackson Hewitt (NYSE: JTX) warned that fiscal 2008 earnings will fall short of expectations saying that the company prepared fewer tax returns this year.
In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 9 to 7 on the NYSE and by 3 to 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 6 points to 733.