Markets Soar On Upbeat Data

The markets soared to close sharply higher with the Dow leaping 123 points to 12,904 as investors welcomed upbeat economic data. Nasdaq jumped 44 points to 2959.

On the upside

Fourth quarter earnings for Huntsman (NYSE: HUN) more than tripled to top analyst estimates.

Valassis Communications (NYSE: VCI) reported higher fourth quarter earnings that surpassed analyst expectations even as revenue slipped.

Advance Auto Parts (Nasdaq: ITRI) reported fourth quarter earnings and revenue that topped analyst estimates.

On the downside

J. M. Smucker (NYSE: SJM) disappointed with lower third quarter earnings that fell far short of analyst expectations.

Fourth quarter earnings and revenue dropped for Blue Nile (Nasdaq: NILE) to miss estimates by a wide margin.

Ion Geophysical (NYSE: IO) reported lower fourth quarter earnings.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 15 points to 829.

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