The nation's unemployment rate fell to 9.4% to lift the markets to a modestly higher open with the Dow rising 8 points to 11,705. Nasdaq edged up a fraction to 2710.
On the upside
MGM Resorts (NYSE: MGM) said that revenue was rebounding with convention business poised to surge at least 30% in the first quarter.
Openheimer upgraded Kulicke & Soffa Industries (Nasdaq: KLIC) to an Outperform rating, lifted its fiscal 2010 and fiscal 2011 outlooks, and increased its price target to $11.
KB Home (NYSE: KBH) surprised analysts with a profit for the fourth quarter.
On the downside
StemCells (Nasdaq: STEM) will sell 10 million common shares to institutional investors at the discounted price of $1 per share.
Liz Claiborne (NYSE: LIZ) blamed disappointing December sales for slashing its guidance for the second half of the fiscal year.
In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 4 on the NYSE and while decliners edged out advancers by 10 to 9 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks edged up a point to 792.
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