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SmarTrend Market Close Wrap-up -- March 24, 2011

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Uploaded on Mar 24, 2011

The major U.S. equity indices closed higher as investors anticipated good news ahead of earnings.

New orders for manufactured goods fell 0.9% in February, following a 3.6% increase in January, with unfilled orders increasing 0.4%, following a 0.7% increase in January, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. Economists had been expecting an increase in new orders of 1.5%.

In its weekly report, the Labor Department said today that first time claims for unemployment benefits fells by 5,000, to a seasonally adjusted 382,000, as the prior week's level was revised upwards by 2,000 to 387,000.

In corporate news, Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) reported Q3 EPS of $1.08, ahead of consensus estimates of $1.05 per share. Revenues for the quarter rose 5.5% year-over-year to $1.98 billion, topping consensus estimates of $1.97 billion.

Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) reported Q1 EPS of $1.78, ahead of consensus estimates of $1.76 per share. Revenues for the quarter were $5.56 billion, missing consensus estimates of $5.64 billion. However, for Q1, the company sees revenues of $5.2 to $5.6 billion, weaker than consensus estimates of $5.64 billion, and EPS of $1.47 to $1.55, also weaker than consensus estimates of $1.65 per share.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) closed 0.70% higher at 12,170.56, the S&P500 (INX) closed 0.93% higher at 1,309.66, and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) closed 1.41% higher at 2,736.42.

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