Entertainment and cable company
(CMCSA) reported adjusted earnings of 35 cents a share on revenue of $9.72 billion for the fourth quarter, exceeding Wall Street's expectations for a profit of 32 cents a share on sales of $9.58 billion. The stock rose 4% to $25.13.
agreed to buy U.S. biotech company
(GENZ) for $74 a share in cash, or $20.1 billion. Sanofi's stock gained 1.3% at $34.95 and Genzyme shares gained 1.1% to $75.01.
(FDO - Get Report) surged 21% higher at $53.25 Wednesday after
Nelson Peltz's Trian Fund
offered to take the discount-chain store private
for $55 to $60 a share.
(APD) rose 4.9% to $94.61 after it abandoned plans to buy
(ARG) for $70 per share.
Abercrombie & Fitch
rose 7.5% to $57.46 after it said profit jumped 95% on strong international sales. The company is also shutting down 50 underperforming stores in 2011.
filed for Chapter 11bankruptcy protection
on Wednesday saying, in a statement, that it "does not have the capital resources it needs to be a viable competitor."
Elsewhere in commodity markets, the April gold contract, the most actively traded gold future, rose $1.1 to settle at $1,375.10 an ounce.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury fell 5/32, lifting the yield to 3.623%. The dollar weakened against a basket of currencies with the dollar index down by 0.3%.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 1.1% and Japan's Nikkei added 0.6%. London's FTSE was added 0.9% and the DAX in Frankfurt was ahead by 0.4%.
--Written by Melinda Peer and Shanthi Bharatwaj in New York