The markets advanced during the midday with the Dow gaining 55 points to 12,963 as mortgage rates dropped to record lows. Nasdaq climbed 31 points to 2973. On the upside
New Oriental Education & Technology Group (NYSE: EDU) rejected allegations by Muddy Waters that the company franchised its learning centers and included financial results of the franchisees into its own financial reports. Third quarter earnings slipped for Skyworks Solutions (Nasdaq: SWKS) but the results topped analyst estimates prompting an upgrade. Shares of preteen retailer Five Below (Nasdaq: FIVE) leaped on its first trading day. On the downside Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) reported higher third quarter earnings and revenue but the results fell short of analyst expectations prompting a downgrade. Shares of Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD) fell after rival Walgreen (NYSE: WAG) settled its months long dispute with Express Scripts (Nasdaq: ESRX). Diana Containerships (Nasdaq: DCIX) priced its public offering of 8.1 million common shares at the discounted price of $6.25 per share. In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 4 on the NYSE while advancers barely edged out decliners by a slim margin on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks eased a fraction to 804.