Markets Open Higher on Budget Deal Prospects
The markets edged higher on hopes that lawmakers may reach a budget deal to avert the fiscal cliff. Solid 3rd quarter growth data boosted the Dow which climbed 50 points to 13,035 while Nasdaq rose 20 points to 3012.

On the upside

An analyst upgrade of Research in Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM), maker of Blackberry devices, lifted its stock price.

Shares of the Kroger Company (NYSE: KR) rose after the grocery retailer posted higher revenues and earnings while raising its full-year outlook.

Shares of Coldwater Creek (Nasdaq: CWTR) surged after the women's clothing retailer announced a smaller than expected loss while analysts upgraded the stock.

On the downside

Costco Wholesale Corp. (Nasdaq: COST) announced a $7 per share dividend as November same-store sales climbed 6% which missed expectations.

Same-store sales for Kohl's (NYSE: KSS) dropped 5% in November while e-commerce activity failed to offset a drop in Black Friday sales.

Liquidity Services (Nasdaq: LQDT) tempered expectations for its online auction marketplace after postings higher earnings that missed estimates.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 3 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks jumped 8 points to 822.

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