Surge in December job openings lift markets

A surge in December job openings lifted the markets during the midday with the Dow climbing 77 points to 17,806. Nasdaq soared 43 points to 4,769.

On the upside

Amkor Technology (Nasdaq: AMKR) reported a stronger than expected profit for the fourth quarter.

Sealed Air (NYSE: SEE) impressed with sharply higher fourth quarter earnings that beat analyst expectations and forecast full year earnings ahead of estimates.

Fourth quarter earnings surged for Qualys (Nasdaq: QLYS) to top estimates on record revenue and the company forecast first quarter and full year results that surpassed analyst expectations.

On the downside

Dean Foods (NYSE: DF) swung to a profit for the fourth quarter but the results fell short of expectations.

Midstates Petroleum (NYSE: MPO) provided an operational update and announced that it hired Evercore Group to explore strategic alternatives.

Falling crude oil prices weighed down shares of Petrobras (NYSE: PBR).

In the broad market, declining issues barely edged out advancers by a slim margin on the NYSE while advancers outpaced decliners by 9 to 7 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 climbed 12 points to 2059. Bitcoin eased a fraction to $219.
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