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Higher Close As Investors Monitor Europe

Moody's downgraded 15 global banks but the markets closed higher with the Dow climbing 67 points to 12,640 as investors monitored developments in Europe. Nasdaq gained 33 points to 2892.

On the upside

McMoRan Exploration (NYSE: MMR) won 14 lease blocks on the outer Continental Shelf of the Gulf of Mexico.

A European Medicines Agency advisory panel recommended approval of NPS Pharmaceuticals' (Nasdaq: NPSP) short bowel syndrome medication teduglutide.

Bargain hunters lifted shares of Hovnanian Enterprises (NYSE: HOV) after the stock price tumbled yesterday on news that sales of existing home sales fell in May.

On the downside

Old Republic International (NYSE: ORI) withdrew plans to spin off its Republic Financial Indemnity Group subsidiary.

Jaguar Mining (NYSE: JAG) named John Andrews to the position of interim chief executive officer and demanded that Bristol Investment Partners correct inaccurate statements.

A Seeking Alpha contributor wrote that Freeport-McMoRan's (NYSE: FCX) stock price will be negatively impacted as more copper trading shifts to New York from London.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 7 to 3 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks soared 10 points 775.

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