Sharply Higher Open Ahead Of Bernanke's Comments

The markets opened sharply higher with the Dow soaring 83 points to 14,538 as investors await comments by Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke later today. Nasdaq surged 21 points to 3250.

On the upside

Valeant Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: VRX) will pay a premium of $19.75 per share to acquire Obagi Medical Products (Nasdaq: OMPI).

Morgan Stanley upgraded BlackBerry (Nasdaq: BBRY) to an Overweight rating.

A federal judge ruled that Gevo (Nasdaq: GEVO) did not infringe on a Butamax Advanced Biofuels patent under the doctrine of equivalents.

On the downside

FedEx (NYSE: FDX) disappointed with lower third quarter earnings that fell short of analyst expectations and lowered its full year guidance.

New Mountain Finance (NYSE: NMFC) priced its public offering of 2 million primary shares and 4 million secondary shares at the discounted price of $14.30 per share.

Stanford Research downgraded Cemig (NYSE: CIG) to a Hold rating.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 2 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 index climbed 9 points to 1557.

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