Opening Bell Report
Upbeat earnings news along with a drop in oil prices lifted the markets to a modestly higher open with the Dow gaining 21 points to 10,984. Nasdaq added 2 points to 2218.

On the upside

Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) reported lower second quarter earnings due to loan losses but the results surpassed expectations prompting the nation's fifth largest bank to increase its quarterly dividend to 34 cents per share from 31 cents per share.

Cleveland-Cliffs (NYSE: CLF) announced that it will purchase coal producer Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE: ANR) in a cash and stock deal valued at approximately $10 billion.

Business outsourcing services provider Convergys (NYSE: CVG) will acquire automated voice response system maker Intervoice (Nasdaq: INTV) in an all cash deal valued at approximately $335 million.

On the downside

Northland Securities downgraded Orion Energy Systems (Nasdaq: OESX) after the energy management systems company lowered its full year outlook.

Seagate Technology (NYSE: STX) disappointed with lower fourth quarter earnings that missed expectations and forecast first quarter results that fell far short of estimates.

JP Morgan downgraded Chicago Bridge & Iron (NYSE: CBI) after the company announced that it will record a $317 million pretax charge in the second quarter.


In the broad market, advancing issues were on par with decliners on the NYSE while advancers outpaced deliners by a margin of more than 7 to 5 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added 2 points to 664.

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