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Manufacturing Activity Expansion Boosts Markets

Greater than expected expansion of manufacturing activity boosted the markets during the midday with the Dow soaring 106 points to 13,320. Nasdaq climbed 23 points to 3069.

On the upside

Avis Budget Group (Nasdaq: CAR) reported a preliminary loss for the first quarter due to charges but forecast higher 2012 results.

First quarter earnings soared for Huntsman (NYSE: HUN) to surpass analyst expectations by a wide margin.

CapitalSource (NYSE: CSE) reported sharply higher first quarter earnings.

On the downside

Greenlight Capital's David Einhorn questioned Herbalife's (NYSE: HLF) financial disclosures during the company's earnings conference call.

Avon Products (NYSE: AVP) blamed significant restructuring charges for sharply lower first quarter earnings that missed analyst expectations.

Second quarter earnings slipped for Emerson Electric (NYSE: EMR) to fall short of expectations.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 7 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks climbed 9 points to 825.

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