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Pending Home Sales Surge, Markets Open Higher

Pending home sales surged in April to lift the markets to a higher open with the Dow rising 69 points to 10,093. Nasdaq gained 19 points to 2241.

On the upside

Brazilian steel company Gerdau SA will pay approximately $1.6 billion to acquire all the shares of Gerdau AmeriSteel (NYSE: GNA) that it does not already own.

AVI Biopharma (Nasdaq: AVII) reported positive trial results from a study of its Duchenne muscular dystrophy treatment AVI-4658.

Sonic Solutions (Nasdaq: SNIC) will acquire DivX (Nasdaq: DIVX) in a cash and stock deal valued at approximately $323 million.

On the downside

The Securities and Exchange Commission subpoenaed documents from Canadian Solar (Nasdaq: CSIQ) related to 2009 sales prompting the company to delay the release of its first quarter results.

MF Global Holdings (NYSE: MF) will sell common shares to raise up to $150 million.

Goldman Sachs lowered its earnings estimates and target price on Best Buy (NYSE: BBY).

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 9 to 7 on the NYSE and by 7 to 5 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a fraction to 641.

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