The markets opened higher with the Dow climbing 98 points to 12,840 as new home building permits rose in May. Nasdaq surged 31 points to 2926.
On the upside
Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) reported higher fourth quarter earnings that topped analyst estimates and announced plans to repurchase an additional $10 billion worth of stock.
Maxim Group initiated coverage of Sequenom (Nasdaq: SQNM) with a Buy rating.
On the downside
Walgreen (NYSE: WAG) will pay approximately $6.7 billion in cash and stock to acquire a 45% stake in Alliance Boots.
J. C. Penney (NYSE: JCP) president Michael Francis departed abruptly after a brief eight month tenure at the department store chain.
Affymetrix (Nasdaq: AFFY) will offer $105 million in convertible senior notes.
In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 3 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks soared 8 points to 780.