The markets opened strong on the first trading day of 2011 with the Dow soaring 106 points to 11,684 as manufacturing activity expanded and construction spending rose. Nasdaq climbed 44 points to 2697.
On the upside
China Direct Industries (Nasdaq: CDII) subsidiary CDII Trading will provide iron ore to a company in China.
Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) announced a $2 billion impairment charge and a $3 billion loan loss provision to settle mortgage claims with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
Janney Capital Markets analyst David Strasser upgraded Office Depot (NYSE: ODP) to a Buy rating.
On the downside
Inspire Pharmaceuticals' (Nasdaq: ISPH) cystic fibrosis treatment denufosol tetrasodium failed a Phase III clinical trial.
Morgan Stanley downgraded DryShips (NYSE: DRYS) to an Underweight rating.
Piper Jaffray downgraded AnnTaylor (NYSE: ANN) to a Neutral rating.
In the broad market, advancing issues edged out decliners by a margin of more than 7 to 2 on the NYSE and by more than 4 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks soared 15 points to 798.
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