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Consumer confidence rose more than expected in February to lift the markets during the midday with the Dow gaining 56 points to 13,840. Nasdaq slipped a point to 3114.
On the upside
The Food and Drug Administration granted Fast Track designation to MediciNova's (Nasdaq: MNOV) MN-166 to treat methamphetamine dependence.
TPG will take Assisted Living Concepts (NYSE: ALC) private for a premium of $12 per share.
A surge in January new home sales lifted shares of Hovnanian Enterprises (NYSE: HOV), PulteGroup (NYSE: PHM) and Standard Pacific (NYSE: SPF).
On the downside
Vivus (Nasdaq: VVUS) widened fourth quarter losses more than expected on disappointing sales of its recently approved obesity treatment Qsymia.
Titan International (NYSE: TWI) fell to an unexpected loss for the fourth quarter as revenue missed analyst estimates.
Trina Solar (NYSE: TSL) widened losses as revenue tumbled.
In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 10 to 9 on the NYSE and by more than 9 to 7 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 index eased a point to 1485.