Markets Close Sharply Higher Over Upbeat Economic Data
Upbeat reports of construction spending and pending home sales that surpassed analyst expectations lifted the markets to a sharply higher close with the Dow jumping 214 points to 8426. Nasdaq leaped 44 points to 1763.

On the upside

Shares of Crocs (Nasdaq: CROX) surged after Wedbush Morgan analyst Jeff Mintz said that he expects Crocs to post a smaller than expected loss.

Fifth Third Bancorp (Nasdaq: FITB) has refinanced over $21 million in Freddie Mac loans.

The government requested that Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) raise additional capital as a precaution against further loan losses.

On the downside

While Calgon Carbon (NYSE: CCC) reported lower first quarter earnings that met estimates, revenue fell short of expectationsa.

DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV) will merge with the entertainment unit of Liberty Media then spin-off as a new company.

First quarter earnings for Astronics (Nasdaq: ATRO) plunged by nearly half to miss expectations.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 7 to 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks leaped 19 points to 506.

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