Markets Trade In Narrow Range Ahead Of Earnings

The markets traded in a narrow range during the midday with the Dow gaining 24 points to 12,384 as cautious investors awaited earnings news. Nasdaq added 3 points to 2677.

On the upside

Stifel Nicolaus expects Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR) to report earnings that met expectations.

Bristol-Myers Squibb's (NYSE: BMY) $2.5 billion acquisition of Inhibitex (Nasdaq: INHX) lifted shares of rival hepatitis C treatment maker Achillion Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ACHN) and Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: VRTX).

Shares of Dendreon (Nasdaq: DNDN) continued climbing after reporting better than expected sales of its prostate cancer drug Provenge last week.

On the downside

Macquarie Group analyst Ben Schachter raised concerns last week that revenues for online games company Zynga (Nasdaq: ZNGA) are generated from only a small segment of its users.

CRT Capital Group analyst Sheryl Skolnick wrote that a former Health Management Associates (NYSE: HMA) employee filed a lawsuit against the company in October.

Astellas Pharma will no longer market Theravance's (Nasdaq: THRX) antibiotic Vibativ.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 7 to 5 on the NYSE and by 9 to 7 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose 2 points to 752.

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