Opening Bell Report
The markets opened higher on better than expected retail sales reports and a major buyout in the chemicals sector. The Dow surged 47 points to 11,194 while Nasdaq leaped 16 points to 2251.

On the upside

Shares of Rohm & Haas (NYSE: ROH) soared after Dow Chemical (NYSE: DOW) offered more than $15 billion to buy the rival chemical maker.

Restaurant operator Ruby Tuesday (NYSE: RT) posted 4th quarter results that beat expectations and raised its outlook for 2009.

California Pizza Kitchen (Nasdaq: CPKI) raised its 2nd quarter guidance due to strong preliminary sales results.

On the downside

Former St. Louis Federal Reserve President William Poole was quoted by Bloomberg warning that Mortgage lenders Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) and Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) may be insolvent.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT) posted higher June same-store sales and raised its 2nd quarter earnings forecast. However, investors had hoped for higher targets due a shift in consumer spending to discount merchandise.

Shares of FCStone (Nasdaq: FCSX) tumbled after the commodity risk management firm missed 3rd quarter profit expectations.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 5 to 4 on the NYSE, but were outpaced by a margin of 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 2 points to 665.

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