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4:25 PM, Mar 4, 2010 --

  • NYSE up 8.4 (0.1%) to 7,173.07.
  • DJIA up 47.4 (0.5%) to 10,444.
  • S&P 500 up 4 (0.4%) to 1,123.
  • Nasdaq up 11.6 (0.5%) to 2,292.


GLOBAL SENTIMENT

  • Hang Seng down 1.44%
  • Nikkei down 1.05%
  • FTSE down 0.24%


UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) DNDN reports Provenge study results.

(+) ANF surprises with February sales gain.

(+) WMT hikes dividend.

(+) CNAM inks supply deal.

(+) URBN beats with Q4 EPS.

(+) PIR guides for Q4 above Street view.

(+) PETM continues upside gain after results.

(+) CDII among active gainers but news unclear.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) CIEN misses with Q1 results.

(-) CBRX reports purchase, collaboration with Watson.

(-) KSS down after same-store sales results.

(-) M turns lower, says Feb. same-store sales up 3.7%.

(-) FSYS turns down despite beating with Q4.

MARKET DIRECTION

Stocks post a slim advance, enough to nudge the S&P 500's consecutive gains to five days. Stocks continue to twist in a narrow range ahead of Friday's Labor Dept. employment report.

On Thursday, the broader market has been jostled by positive retail sales and job market data set against worrisome housing data. A firmer dollar undermined materials stocks.

The DJIA benefited from upgrades for Disney (NYSE:DIS), Boeing (NYSE:BA) and Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO).

Healthcare stocks remained under pressure, including UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH) down nearly 4%, and Aetna (NYSE:AET), down almost 3%.

Most retailers gained after February same-store sales results. Macy's (NYSE:M), Limited Brands (LTD) and The Wet Seal (WTSLA) all posted monthly sales that topped analysts' expectations. Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) raised its dividend 11 percent.

The National Association of Realtors said its index of home sales agreements fell 7.6 percent in January from December. Contracts fell to the lowest level since April.

Earlier today, the government said that initial jobless claims dipped last week after two straight weeks of unexpected increases. New claims fell to 469,000, better than the 470,000 economists had forecast.

Friday's report is expected to show that unemployment rose to 9.8 percent in February from 9.7 percent in January as employers cut 50,000 jobs. But economists are also expecting slight gains in both average hourly earnings and average hours worked. Gains in these areas often come before a pickup in hiring, the AP said.

Source: Equities Move Slightly Upward