Rising Consumer Sentiment Lifts Markets

Consumer sentiment rose more than expected in February to lift the markets to a higher open with the Dow rising 15 points to 13,989. Nasdaq gained 5 points to 3203.

On the upside

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn acquired a 13% stake in Herbalife (NYSE: HLF) as part of an ongoing dispute with William Ackman, who accused the nutritional supplement company of being a pyramid scheme.

Qlik Technologies (Nasdaq: QLIK) reported lower fourth quarter earnings but the results were better than expected.

Trian Fund purchased 1.6 million shares of MeadWestvaco (NYSE: MWV).

On the downside

LogMeIn (Nasdaq: LOGM) reported higher fourth quarter revenue and earnings but the company forecast current quarter results well below analyst expectations.

Fourth quarter revenue and earnings rose for IPG Photonics (Nasdaq: IPGP) but the results fell short of estimates.

Howard Weil downgraded Transocean (NYSE: RIG) to a Sector Perform rating while Deutsche Bank downgraded the offshore drilling services provider to a Sell rating.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 4 on the NYSE and by a margin of more than 9 to 7 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 index added a point to 1523.

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