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Opening Bell Report

The markets opened higher on hopes of a stabilizing financial services sector. The Dow surged more than 100 points to 12,450 while Nasdaq leaped 30 points to 2293.

On the upside

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) boosted its bid for Bear Stearns (NYSE: BSC) to $10 a share in order to ward off any potential competitive bid and to allay criticism from Bear Stearns employees that own nearly one-third of the company. The stock immediately surged past $11 a share.

Shares of InterDigital (Nasdaq: IDCC) surged on reports that it was in settlement talks with Nokia (NYSE: NOK) over several disputed patents.

1 Identity Solutions Inc (NYSE: ID) offered $250 million in cash and stock to acquire the ID systems business from Digimarc Corp (Nasdaq: DMRC).

On the downside

Lehman Brothers (NYSE: LEH) were one of the few holdouts in the financial services sector to trade lower this morning.

Cambrex (NYSE: CBM) was downgraded by an analyst. The company provides drug development services.

Shares of PC Mall (Nasdaq: MALL) tumbled after surging during the last hour of trading on Thursday, the day before the market closed for Good Friday. There were no apparent reasons for the volatility.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 5 to 1 on the NYSE and by 3 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 15 points to 696.

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