Mid-Day Report

Bargain hunters lifted the markets higher during the midday with the Dow surging 102 points to 11,635. Nasdaq climbed 20 points to 2448.

On the upside

PMI Group (NYSE: PMI) will sell its Australian mortgage insurance subsidiary for approximately $920 million to Australia's QBE Insurance Group.

Strong international growth lifted fourth quarter earnings for Estee Lauder (NYSE: EL) to top estimates. The cosmetics maker expects international sales to continue expanding.

Invesco (NYSE: IVZ) will replace IAC/InterActive (Nasdaq: IACI) on the S&P 500 after market close on August 20. IAC will split into four separate companies.

On the downside

Second quarter earnings for Flower Foods (NYSE: FLO) rose due to improved prices and greater volume but the results fell short of estimates.

Despite higher revenue, Spreadtrum Communications (Nasdaq: SPRD) reported lower second quarter earnings that missed expectations prompting the technology company to cut its guidance for the current quarter.

Robert W. Baird & Co. analyst Peter Lisnic downgraded LSI Industries (Nasdaq: LYTS) after the lighting company cut its full year guidance.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks gained 6 points to 754.

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