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4:16 PM, Jan 4, 2010 --

  • NYSE up 141.7 (1.9%) to 7,326.70.
  • DJIA up 155.91 (1.5%) to 10,584.
  • S&P 500 up 17.89 (1.6%) to 1,133.
  • Nasdaq up 39.27 (1.7%) to 2,308.


GLOBAL SENTIMENT

  • Hang Seng down 0.23%
  • Nikkei up 1.03%
  • FTSE up 1.25%


UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) INTC gets analyst upgrade.

(+) MS gets two analyst upgrades.

(+) BA gets analyst upgrade.

(+) UPS gets analyst upgrade.

(+) CDII sees improvement in business areas.

(+) DYN secures funding for debt reduction.

(+) MAGS narrows loss.

(+) EMC gets favorable Barron's coverage.

(+) CVX gets favorable Barron's coverage.

(+) CHK selling stake in Barnett shale gas assets.

(+) VLO gets analyst upgrade.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) ANSV says won't merge with Arcion and will file bankruptcy.

(-) ANX turns lower; submits ANX-530 NDA.

(-) RAD reports decline in Dec. same-store sales.

MARKET DIRECTION

Stocks finish solidly higher on the first trading day of the new year, ending in the upper end of their day range after getting a renewed afternoon lift from oil's close north of $81 a barrel. Stocks gained broadly Monday amid upbeat manufacturing data from the U.S., China and Europe. The blue-chip DJIA rallied over 150 points for the highest close since October 2008.

Energy stocks were among the leading gainers. February crude futures closed up 2.7%, at $81.51 a barrel, the highest close since Oct. 22. Oil prices were boosted by upbeat economic data in the U.S. and China and by a weaker dollar. Natural gas rallied on concerns that cold weather will push up demand.

On the economic front, trade group Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index read 55.9 in December after 53.6 in November. A reading above 50 indicates growth. It was the fifth straight month of expansion and the highest reading for the index since April 2006. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected a reading of 54.3.

A separate report on construction spending sounded a more cautionary note. Construction activity fell in November for a seventh straight month as spending on both residential and commercial projects declined. The 0.6 percent drop was bigger than the 0.4 percent decline that economists had been expecting.

In mergers and acquisitons activity, BioForm Medical (BFRM) rallied on news it will be bought by Merz Pharma Group for $253 million or $5.45 per share.

Anesiva (ANSV) fell after the company said late Thursday its merger plan with Arcion Therapeutics will not close. It was not able to comply with merger conditions. It intends to immediately cease operations and to file a petition for relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

Chesapeake (NYSE:CHK) gained after the company says it is selling a 25% stake in its Barnett Shale to Total.

Source: Equities Update: Stocks Gain, Oil Clears $81