Markets Rally on Housing Data and Earning News

The markets are posting some strong gains heading into the midday trading hours. The Dow is currently up 103 points, a rise of .8%. The Nasdaq and S&P 500 are showing gains of 41 and 10 points respectively. Housing data is a big part of the gains being posted this morning as housing starts rose 14.6% to reach its highest point since January. The good housing news and earnings posted by some of the markets biggest influences like Johnson and Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), and Coca-Cola Co (NYSE:KO) both besting forecast estimates for earnings are leading today’s rebounding session. These earnings are temporarily taking investors minds away from the debt problems that have been at the top of most news stories the past few weeks. Lets look at several companies posting strong gains amid this up-tick in trading.

InterDigital, Inc. (Nasdaq:IDCC) shares are up this morning climbing 23% to 51.25 per share with an intraday high of $53.47. Volume is up as well with nearly 2.7 million shares being traded. News the company hired Evercore Partners and Barclays Capital to help consider strategic alternatives has led the rise in its shares. IDCC owns about 1,300 U.S. patents and has said its patent portfolio is both stronger and deeper than the portfolio of patents sold by Nortel Networks Corp for $4.5 billion in a recent auction.

Harley-Davidson, Inc (NYSE:HOG) shares have posted a nice gain this morning, rising 9% to $45.17 per share. Volume is trading double its normal volume on news that retail sales grew by 7.5%. HOG earned $190.6 million or $.81 per share compared to analyst estimates $.72 per share. Motorcycle related products and and service revenue rose 18% to 1.34 billion. Harley is expecting to ship 228,000-235,000 new bikes this year an increase of over 8%.

Advanced Battery Technologies (Nasdaq:ABAT) shares are up 8.5% to $1.28 per share with an intraday high of $1.35 per share. Volume is nearly double normal on news that ABAT announce a $10 million repurchase program. The program authorizes the company to repurchase up to $10 million of the companies common stock on the open market. The goal of the program is to increase per share equity of the remaining shareholders.

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