Markets Post Modest Gains
A surprising gain in consumer sentiment lifted the markets to a modestly higher close with the Dow climbing 44 points to 8212. Nasdaq rose a point to 1719.

On the upside

American Capital (Nasdaq: ACAS) is exploring the possible sale of its European Capital business.

PerkinElmer (NYSE: PKI) blamed charges for sharply lower first quarter earnings but the results topped estimates.

First quarter earnings for General Cable (NYSE: BGC) slipped but the results beat expectations and the company forecast upbeat second quarter results.

On the downside

Shares of Novavax (Nasdaq: NVAX) retreated as investors locked in profits.

Brean Murray downgraded GigaMedia (Nasdaq: GIGM).

First quarter earnings for Gen-Probe (Nasdaq: GPRO) tumbled as revenue dropped.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by nearly 10 to 9 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap eased a fraction to 486.

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