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Markets Advance Ahead Of European Union Meeting

The markets advanced during the midday with the Dow gaining 67 points to 12,641 ahead of a European Union meeting next week. Nasdaq climbed 44 points to 2883.

On the upside

Forest Oil (NYSE: FST) named director Patrick R. McDonald to the position of interim chief executive.

Alexza Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ALXA) resubmitted its marketing application to the Food and Drug Administration for the antipsychotic Adasuve.

Shares of Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD) continued rising after announcing narrower losses than expected yesterday.

On the downside

Standard & Poor's will replace Patriot Coal (NYSE: PCX) on its S&P MidCap 400 Index with Alexander & Baldwin (NYSE: ALEX).

Associated Estates (NYSE: AEC) priced its public offering of 5.5 million common shares at the discounted price of $14.40 per share.

FBR Capital downgraded ITT (NYSE: ITT) to an Underperform rating.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 7 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks climbed 7 points 772.

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