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Higher Open Despite Bank Downgrades

The markets opened higher with the Dow rising 57 points to 12,631 despite downgrades of 15 major financial institutions by Moody's Investors Service last night. Nasdaq gained 14 points to 2873.

On the upside

Harvest Natural Resources (NYSE: HNR) will sell its 32% stake in Venezuela to PT Pertamina for approximately $725 million in cash.

A Seeking Alpha contributor wrote that Banco Santander (NYSE: SAN) was financially healthy compared to other Spanish banks.

First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR) received approval from Los Angeles County to resume construction of the Solar Ranch One photovoltaic power plant in Antelope Valley.

On the downside

Shares of Chimera Investment (NYSE: CIM) continued falling after Credit Suisse downgraded the company yesterday.

Investors locked in profits on Arena Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ARNA) whose stock price climbed the past week in anticipation of regulatory approval of its obesity treatment Lorcaserin.

Ryder System (NYSE: R) blamed a drop in demand for lowering its current quarter outlook.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 3 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 5 points 770.

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