Higher Open As Durable Goods Orders Climb

Durable goods orders jumped 5.7% in February to lift the markets to a sharply higher open with the Dow soaring 94 points to 14,542. Nasdaq rose 12 points to 3247.

On the upside

Oppenheimer upgraded RF Micro Devices (Nasdaq: RFMD) to an Outperform rating.

Bernstein expects Blackberry (Nasdaq: BBRY) to report improved fourth quarter margins.

Second quarter earnings for Sonic (Nasdaq: SONC) more than doubled.

On the downside

Ziopharm Oncology (Nasdaq: ZIOP) ended development of its soft tissue sarcoma treatment palifosfamide after it failed a late stage clinical trial.

Calumet Specialty Products Partners (Nasdaq: CLMT) priced its public offering of 5.25 million common units at the discounted price of $37.50 per unit.

AuRico Gold (NYSE: AUQ) fell to a loss for the fourth quarter.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 index gained 8 points to 1559.

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