Gain In Manufacturing Activity Boosts Markets

Manufacturing activity rose more than expected to boost the markets during the midday with the Dow climbing 72 points to 13,284. Nasdaq gained 26 points to 3117.

On the upside

Towerstream (Nasdaq: TWER) will provide Wi-Fi access to a national wireless carrier.

Willbros Group (NYSE: WG) narrowed fourth quarter losses and won a contract to construct a 97-mile portion of the Red River Gathering Pipeline.

Health Management Associates (NYSE: HMA) completed a transaction to joint venture five INTEGRIS Health Oklahoma hospitals.

On the downside

Pinnacle Airlines (Nasdaq: PNCL) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Shares of Global Payments (NYSE: GPN) extended its losses after admitting on Sunday that as many as 1.5 million credit and debit card numbers may have been compromised in a security breach.

Gafisa (NYSE: GFA) fell to a significant loss for the full year 2011.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 7 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 6 points to 837.

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