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Increased Hiring Lifts Markets To Higher Close

A better than expected increase in private sector hiring lifted the markets to a higher close with the Dow climbing 78 points to 12,837. Nasdaq gained 25 points to 2935.

On the upside

InvenSense (NYSE: INVN) priced its follow-on offering of 6.5 million common shares at $14.85 per share.

A Seeking Alpha contributor suggested that Agenus (NYSE: AGEN) would be a likely target for acquisition.

Radian Guaranty (NYSE: RDN) announced $2 billion in new insurance written in February and that mortgage insurance delinquencies fell.

On the downside

First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR) will cut production in Germany and Malaysia and postpone opening a Mesa, Arizona plant.

Helix Energy Solutions (NYSE: HLX) priced its offering of $200 million worth of convertible senior notes.

Canadian Solar (Nasdaq: CSIQ) fell to a greater than expected loss for the fourth quarter even as revenue rose.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 7 to 2 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks climbed 8 points to 795.

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