Stocks Stage Comeback

Stocks overcame a number of obstacles Thursday to post solid gains.

The market initially traded lower after disappointing retail sales and rising oil prices added to slowdown and inflation fears sparked by Wednesday’s Federal Reserve meeting minutes. But the major indexes hit their lows in the first 30 minutes of trading and spent the rest of the day heading higher. Traders will have more to digest Friday with the release of wholesale inflation data, and earnings season will swing into high gear next week.

Research in Motion wasn’t as lucky, falling 8% on disappointing results and news of a formal SEC stock option probe.

CDW surged 6% on a 25% jump in March sales.

Vonage gained 7% on a change at the top.

Mobius soared on a buyout offer.

Interphase and ECtel plunged on warnings.

ClickSoftware jumped on a document management deal.

HP and Dell edged higher on upgrades, while Microstrategy fell on a downgrade.

After the close, Apple fell after delaying its Leopard operating system.

The Nasdaq rose 21 to 2480, the S&P 500 gained 9 to 1447, and the Dow rose 68 to 12,552. Volume declined to 2.76 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.98 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancing issues led by a 21-11 margin on the NYSE, and 19-10 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 73% on the NYSE, and 75% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 177-31 on the NYSE, and 130-66 on the Nasdaq.

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