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Markets Open Higher as Consumer Sentiment Rises

The markets opened higher with the Dow adding 16 points to reach the 13,000 point threshold as consumer sentiment rose to its highest level in a year . Nasdaq gained 8 points to 2964.

On the upside (NYSE: CRM) posted a 4th quarter loss to account for one-time compensation charges, but also reported higher revenues that beat expectations.

AIG (NYSE: AIG) posted $19.8 billion profit in the 4th quarter due to a tax benefit. A stock price of $29 a share means the U.S. government's holdings in the insurer is at break even.

Chelsea Therapeutics (Nasdaq: CHTP) received the nod from a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee for its drug treatment of neurological diseases. The stock surged more than 50%.

Shares of Vivus (Nasdaq: VVUS) extended its gains after a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee recommended approval for the company's obesity treatment Qnexa.

On the downside

Rubicon Technologies (Nasdaq: RBCN) posted sharply lower 4th quarter profits and lowered its guidance for its current quarter to a loss. The company makes electronic components.

4th quarter sales and profits at Deckers Outdoor (Nasdaq: DECK) rose, but the footwear maker warned about rising costs.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 4 to 3 on the NYSE and were even on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks down a fraction at 828.

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