Upbeat Economic Data Boosts Markets

Upbeat economic data boosted investor sentiment and the markets with the Dow rocketing 221 points to 8721. Nasdaq leaped 54 points to 1828.

On the upside

Air Transport Services Group (Nasdaq: ATSG) completed a leasing agreement with principal client DHL.

Merge Healthcare will acquire Etrials Worldwide (Nasdaq: ETWC) in a cash and stock deal valued at approximately $18.3 million.

UBS analyst Michael Morris upgraded CBS (NYSE: CBS).

Aeterna Zentaris (Nasdaq: AEZS) reported upbeat Phase II clinical trial results for its colon and kidney cancer treatment Perifosine.

On the downside

Regions Financial (Nasdaq: RF) canceled an appearance at the Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Strategic Decisions Conference last Friday.

Synta Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SNTA) said that its melanoma treatment elesclomol failed a late stage clinical trial.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by 3 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks climbed 19 points to 521.

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