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Higher Open As Jobless Claims Slip

First time applications for unemployment benefits slipped last week but the number was greater than expected. The markets opened higher with the Dow rising 45 points to 13,136 while Nasdaq added 7 points to 3037.

On the upside

Fourth quarter earnings fell for Cirrus Logic (Nasdaq: CRUS) but the results beat analyst expectations.

Nuance Communications (Nasdaq: NUAN) reported preliminary second quarter results ahead of prior guidance.

Logitech International (Nasdaq: LOGI) reported sharply higher fourth quarter earnings that surpassed analyst expectations by a wide margin.

On the downside

Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) reported higher first quarter earnings due to the sale of its conference calling business Genesys but gross margin dropped.

MetroPCS (NYSE: PCS) disappointed with sharply lower first quarter earnings that fell far short of analyst expectations as expenses climbed prompting a downgrade.

First quarter earnings fell for Aetna (NYSE: AET) to miss analyst expectations as expenses climbed.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 9 to 7 on the NYSE and by nearly 9 to 7 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose 2 points to 814.

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