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4:17 PM, Mar 8, 2010 --

  • NYSE up 1.5 (0.02%) to 7,292.52.
  • DJIA down 13.7 (0.1%) to 10,553.
  • S&P 500 down 0.2 (0.02%) to 1,139.
  • Nasdaq up 5.9 (0.3%) to 2,332.


GLOBAL SENTIMENT

  • Hang Seng up 1.97%
  • Nikkei up 2.09%
  • FTSE up 0.29%


UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) AIG sells international life unit to MetLife (NYSE:MET).

(+) RIMM gets analyst upgrade.

(+) X gets analyst upgrade.

(+) MCD says February same-store sales up 4.8%.

(+) RFMD guides above Street for Q4.

(+) SEED develops pesticide unit.

(+) CTIC says FDA OKs NerPharMa manufacture of Pixantrone.

(+) EBIX tops sales estimates.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) PEIX announces plan to cure existing debt defaults.

(-) SSTI amends merger agreement with Microchip.

(-) OCNF gets Nasdaq notice.

(-) YGE beats with revenue; gets capacity expansion project.

MARKET DIRECTION

Stocks end narrowly mixed, a move that was enough to push the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite to 18-month highs but puts the brakes on what was shaping up to be a seven-day winning stretch for the broader S&P 500.

Sales results for McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) and AIG's (NYSE:AIG) sale of another unit proved supportive to stocks. But the market's ability to stretch its run without some consolidation looked questionable, particularly after Friday's sharp run-up on a better-than-expected jobs report.

U.S. stocks rallied on Friday, and most global markets followed suit, after a report showed 36,000 nonfarm jobs lost in the U.S. last month, a smaller number of losses than Wall Street economists expected. A related, but more loosely followed, household survey showed employment up 849,000 over the last two months, the biggest two-month rise since May 2005.

In deal news, American International Group (AIG) announced a definitive agreement for the sale of American Life Insurance Company (ALICO)(NASDAQ:ALCO), its international life insurance company, to MetLife (MET) for approximately $15.5 billion, including $6.8 billion in cash and the remainder in equity securities of MetLife, subject to closing adjustments.

Cell Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CTIC) rallies after it announces the FDA completed its inspection of the facility at NerPharMa, which manufactures the CTI's drug pixantrone, and has found the site in compliance and acceptable for continued manufacturing of the drug product.

Crude oil futures ended slightly higher on Monday, though well off earlier highs above $82 a barrel, fueled by continued optimism over the global economy. Crude oil for April delivery finished up 37 cents, or 0.4%, at $81.87 a barrel at the New York Mercantile Exchange. It earlier rose to a high $82.47 a barrel but some optimism over verbal European support for Greece faded, lifting the dollar and pressuring commodities.

Gold also fell as the dollar gained.

French President Nicholas Sarkozy said over the weekend that major European nations were prepared to back Greece through its financial crisis. In a joint press conference with his Greek counterpart, George Papandreou, Sarkozy said that France was working with other European Union nations as well as the European Central Bank to come up with a plan that would support Greece in "all possible aspects."

Among the post-bell earnings: CDC Corp. (NASDAQ:CHINA), H&R Block (NYSE:HRB), TiVo (NASDAQ:TIVO), Vivus (NASDAQ:VVUS).

Source: Equities End Virtually Unchanged