Wall Street Pit’s Midday Market Gainers: MPEL, CBST, AMLN, AGO, KNL, MBI

Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. (MPEL) added 4 percent to $9.01 and increased 5 percent earlier following Bank of America (BAC) upgrade to “Buy” from “Neutral” before the open. Approximately 6.9 million MPEL shares have already traded hands today vs. an average 30-day volume of 6.28 million shares.

Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc. (CBST) printed the highest intraday price today (hod $32.23) since January 2002. The Lexington, Massachusetts-based co. that develops drugs to treat infections reported Q1 profits of $22.6 million, up from $20.4 million during the corresponding period in 2010. Cubist had $915.8 million in total cash as of the end of March. Volume has exploded with nearly 2 million CBST shares already trading hands compared to a daily average volume of 1 million shares.

Shares of Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. (AMLN) rallied 13 percent to $12.92 at the start of trading Friday after the company said that an European Union committee has recommended their diabetes drug Bydureon be approved. Amylin shares have lost more than 42% for the 52-wk period, but have risen 14% during the last 30 days.

Assured Guaranty Ltd. (AGO) rose 28 percent to $18.62 and climbed as much as 30 percent earlier. The bond insurer announced today that it reached a settlement with Bank of America Corp. that includes a payment of $1.1 billion to settle Assured Guaranty’s demands that the lender buy back faulty mortgages. The cash settlement of $1.1 billion will be paid in full by March 31, 2012, according to a statement from Assured.

Knoll Inc. (KNL) gained more than 15 percent to $22.73 for the biggest advance in the R2K Index. The office-furniture maker experienced a robust Q1 ended March 31, 2011 and anticipates the momentum to carry on throughout the year. KNL earnings per share was $0.20 for the quarter compared to $0.05 per share in the prior year. Chief Executive Officer Andrew Cogan said the company is seeing “positive momentum” in the marketplace this year.

Bond insurer MBIA Inc. (MBI) gained 21 percent to $10.90, on B. of A. Assured payment. The deal may be an indication that other bond insurers, such as MBIA Inc. may be able to get similar payouts from banks.

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