Higher Close On Increasing Consumer Confidence

An increase in consumer confidence lifted the markets to a higher close with the Dow gaining 46 points to 12,984. Nasdaq climbed 23 points to 2956.

On the upside

Sprint (NYSE: S) introduced its New Ventures to assist its partners improve efficiency while lowering costs and increasing revenue.

Exterran Holdings (NYSE: EXH) narrowed fourth quarter losses more than expected.

Dillard's (NYSE: DDS) reported sharply higher fourth quarter earnings that surpasses analyst expectations by a wide margin.

On the downside

Shares of First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR), Suntech Power (NYSE: STP) and Trina Solar (NYSE: TSL) all tumbled after Germany announced cuts to solar subsidies.

Polypore International (NYSE: PPO) reported higher fourth quarter earnings but the results fell short of estimates.

Fourth quarter earnings dropped for Kohl's (NYSE: KSS) and the retailer forecast current quarter and full year results below expectations.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks soared 12 points to 829.

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