Consumer confidence climbed in December to lift the markets to a modestly higher open with the Dow rising 19 points to 12,313. Nasdaq added 5 points to 2624.
On the upside
A new round of rigorous testing by Mead Johnson Nutrition (NYSE: MJN) on its Enfamil Premium newborn formula revealed no presence of the bacteria Cronobacter.
Magnum Hunter (NYSE: MHR) lifted its production guidance for 2011 and 2012.
On the downside
Sears Holdings (Nasdaq: SHLD) will close between 100 to 120 stores.
Computer Sciences (NYSE: CSC) must recognize an impairment charge in the third quarter of up to $1.5 billion.
Sidoti downgraded Whirlpool (NYSE: WHR) to a Neutral rating.
In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 10 to 9 on the NYSE while decliners edged out advancers by more than 7 to 5 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks held steady at 747.