Speculation that China may announce further economic stimulus measures lifted the markets to a sharply higher open with the Dow soaring 142 points to 12,715. Nasdaq climbed 26 points to 2893. On the upside
JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) reported a greater than expected profit for the second quarter even as its trading loss surged to $4.4 billion. The Blackstone Group's GSO Capital Partners will pay approximately $125 million to acquire a portfolio of land parcels from Hovnanian Enterprises (NYSE: HOV). Athene Holding will pay a premium of approximately $415 million in cash to acquire Presidential Life (Nasdaq: PLFE). On the downside Ampio Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: AMPE) priced its offering of approximately 4.6 million common shares at the discounted price of $3.25 per share. Box Ships (NYSE: TEU) priced its public offering at the discounted price of $7.00 per share. Bridgepoint Education's (NYSE: BPI) Ashford University received a Special Monitoring status letter from the Board of Trustees of the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges. In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 6 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 4 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 10 points to 800.