Stocks were strong today sparked by early comments from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke that the central bank will continue to help the economy with monetary stimulus. The major averages paused a bit midday on an unexpected drop in pending home sales, but gained speed in the last couple hours of trading. In late afternoon trading, the Nasdaq was trading higher by 1.6%, the S&P 500 jumped 1.3% and the Dow was up almost 1.2%.
Among big winners - Arena Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ARNA) shot up on news its weight loss drug is being reviewed in Europe. The FDA is expected to look at the drug in May of this year.
And Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF) was up 4.5% today after strong box office results this week. This prompted Stifel Nicolaus raised its price target to $19. Lions Gate was trading above $15 today.
And Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) shares rallied on positive comments from Morgan Stanley. The analyst said higher average selling prices of 3G phones and new products should benefit earnings at the company. In the report, Morgan Stanley set a $78 price target.
Tomorrow, traders will be looking at a report on consumer confidence and midday comments from Ben Bernanke.
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