May 08, 2009 at 10:00 AM EDT
Stocks Open Higher on Improving Unemployment Picture
U.S. employers cut 539,000 positions, fewer than the 620,000 economists had predicted, even as the overall unemployment rate climbed to 8.9%. Investors viewed the news as another sign of an economic recovery. The Dow climbed more than 100 points to 8522 while Nasdaq rose 15 points to 1732.

On the upside

Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) offered to sell $7.5 billion in stock at $22 a share. Investors were relatively optimistic that the bank will raise the money in order to meet balance sheet requirements set by the federal government

Shares of Fifth Third Bankcorp (Nasdaq: FITB) surged after analysts upgraded the regional bank.

Covidien (NYSE: COV) offered $440 million in cash to buy medical device maker VNUS Medical (Nasdaq: VNUS).


On the downside

Toyota Motor (NYSE: TM) lost $7.7 billion in the 1st quarter as a global economic recession took its toll on auto sales.

Delta Petroleum (Nasdaq: DPTR) announced plans to raise $225 million at $1.50 a share with participation by existing investors.

DryShips (Nasdaq: DRYS) announced plans to raise up to $475 million in addition to $500 million that it had previously announced in January. Analyst promptly downgraded the stock.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 3 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 11 points to 504.
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