Germany and France agreed on a debt plan for European countries lifting the markets to a higher close with the Dow gaining 78 points to 12,097. Nasdaq climbed 28 points to 2655.
On the upside
BTIG initiated coverage of Assured Guaranty (NYSE: AGO) with a Buy rating and a price target of $35.
On the downside
Needham downgraded Hi Tech Pharmacal (Nasdaq: HITK) to a Hold rating.
Investors locked in profits on Pacific Ethanol (Nasdaq: PEIX) whose stock price climbed last week after the company regained compliance for Nasdaq listing.
Shares of Amgen (Nasdaq: AMGN) fell after the Food and Drug Administration said that Affymax's (Nasdaq: AFFY) drug for anemia in dialysis patients with chronic kidney disease was just as effective as Amgen's Epogen and Aranesp.
In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 7 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 12 points to 747.