Mixed Markets As Payroll Tax Cut To Be Extended, Business Tax Cut To Expire

The markets traded mixed during the midday with the Dow gaining 27 points to 12,931 after Congress opted to extend the payroll tax cut while allowing business tax cuts to expire. Nasdaq fell 11 points to 2948.

On the upside

Suntech Power Holdings (NYSE: STP) said that fourth quarter shipments were better than expected, expects revenue to beat analyst expectations and raised its full year outlook.

SunPower (Nasdaq: SPWR) swung to a loss for the fourth quarter but the results surpassed analyst expectations.

Heinz (NYSE: HNZ) reported higher third quarter earnings that beat expectations.

On the downside

Aruba Networks (Nasdaq: ARUN) widened second quarter losses even as revenue climbed.

Allscripts (Nasdaq: MDRX) reversed year ago losses to post a profit for the fourth quarter but the company forecast 2012 results below expectations.

Superconductor Technologies (Nasdaq: SCON) announced a registered direct offering of approximately $4.6 million worth of common shares.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 9 to 7 on the NYSE while decliners edged out advancers by nearly 9 to 7 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped a point to 828.

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