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Two of the three major US equities indexes opened higher this morning with the Nasdaq composite being the laggard. The gains are modest due to any news from Europe on the Greek debt crisis. This morning’s inflation indexes came in pretty much as expected (our coverage here), so that has had little impact. Solar shares are getting a boost from several companies, all reporting good news. In the first half hour of trading, the DJIA is up more than 33 points at around 12,937, the Nasdaq Composite is lower by about 2.5 points at around 2,957, and the S&P 500 is up nearly 4 points at around 1,362.

There are several stocks trading more heavily than usual this morning, and also experiencing large gains or drops in share prices. These include the Cell Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: CTIC), Freightcar America Inc. (NASDAQ: RAIL), Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD), Superconductor Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: SCON), and SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR).

Cell Therapeutics is up more than 35% at $1.49. Volume is already more than 4x the daily average of about 2 million shares traded. The drug maker received a positive opinion for approval of its non-Hodgkin lymphoma drug from a European regulator.

Freightcar America is up nearly 19% at $25.33. Volume is already about 5x the daily average of 75,000 shares traded. The rail car maker shattered EPS and revenue estimates this morning.

Gilead Sciences is up down nearly -14% at $47.22. Volume is already about 3x the daily average of around 10.6 million shares traded. The drug maker reported a setback on its hepatitis C trials. More coverage here.

Superconductor Technologies is down nearly -25% at $0.94 after posting a new 52-week low of $0.90 earlier this morning. Volume is already more than 10x the daily average of around 91,000 shares traded. The superconductor materials company completed a private placement of 4.6 million shares at $1.05/share.

SunPower is up more than 25% at $9.37. Volume is already nearly double the daily average of about 1 million shares traded. The solar panel maker reported strong quarterly earnings last night. Solar panel makers Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. (NYSE: STP), up 15%, and First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR), up 11%, are also reporting good news this morning. More on First Solar here.

Paul Ausick