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Markets Surge As Home Construction Permits Soar

New permits for home construction climbed 4.5% in March to lift the markets to a sharply higher open with the Dow surging 133 points to 13,054. Nasdaq soared 37 points to 3025.

On the upside

Shares of Endocyte (Nasdaq: ECYT) continued climbing after announcing a development deal with Merck (NYSE: MRK) yesterday.

Comerica (NYSE: CMA) reported higher first quarter earnings that topped analyst expectations.

Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE: ANR) will report first quarter results before market open on Thursday, May 3, 2012.

On the downside

Starwood Property Trust (NYSE: STWD) priced its public offering of 20 million common shares at an undisclosed price.

Apollo Residential Mortgage (NYSE: AMTG) priced its public offering of 13.9 million common shares.

Extra Space Storage (NYSE: EXR) will pay $160 million in cash to buy out its joint venture ESS PRISA III partner Prudential Real Estate Investors .

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 7 to 2 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks soared 10 points to 808.

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