Comments from Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke indicated that interest rates will remain low. The markets opened sharply higher with the Dow surging 133 points to 13,214 while Nasdaq leaped 33 points to 3101.
On the upside
The European Medicines Agency accepted Arena Pharmaceuticals' (Nasdaq: ARNA) Marketing Authorization Application for the weigh loss treatment Lorcaserin.
Opening weekend ticket sales for Lions Gate Entertainment's (NYSE: LGF) "The Hunger Games" totaled $155 million, the third highest opening weekend on record.
Verenium (Nasdaq: VRNM) sold its Oilseed Processing business to DSM Food Specialists for $37 million.
On the downside
A123 Systems (Nasdaq: AONE) will spend approximately $55 million to replace defective batteries produced at its Livonia, Michigan manufacturing plant.
Credit Suisse cited Safeway's (NYSE: SWY) greater than expected underfunded pension liability for downgrading the supermarket operator to a Neutral rating.
Profit taking continued to weigh down shares of Galena Biopharma (Nasdsaq: GALE).
In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 4 to 1 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks soared 14 points to 844.