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Euro Zone To Lend Directly To Banks, Markets Soar

Plans to lend funds directly to ailing European banks sent the markets soaring to a sharply higher open with the Dow leaping 214 points to 12,816. Nasdaq jumped 64 points to 2913.

On the upside

Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ) will pay approximately $1.85 billion to acquire the remaining 50% stake in Crown Imports that it does not own.

Smith & Wesson (Nasdaq: SWHC) reported sharply higher fourth quarter earnings that topped analyst estimates and forecast current quarter results ahead of estimates.

ING (NYSE: ING) will no longer pay bonuses to most of its employees.

On the downside

Research in Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) fell to a much wider than expected loss for the second quarter, announced the elimination of 5,000 jobs and delayed the release new phones with its new BlackBerry 10 operating system.

Nike (NYSE: NKE) blamed higher expenses and a restructuring charge for lower fourth quarter earnings that fell short of expectations.

Ford (NYSE: F) warned that losses from its international business will be much wider than expected.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 10 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 16 points to 792.

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