Analyst actions and corporate announcements were some of the catalysts behind the most actively traded stocks on Thursday.
Shares of Eastman Kodak rose after the world's largest photographic film maker said it developed digital camera technology that eliminates the need for flash. Kodak said its new sensor technology increases light sensitivity two to four times more than current digital cameras.
The company said the development "addresses one of the great challenges facing our industry -- how to capture crisp, clear digital images in a poorly lit environment."
Hoku Scientific announced a contract award worth approximately $678 million. The Hawaii-based solar panel components makers said it won a 10-year supply contract with Chinese solar panel maker Suntech Power Holdings.
Clearwire said on Thursday it entered into distribution agreements with DirecTV Group and EchoStar Communications. The two satellite TV providers will offer Clearwire's Internet service to their customers.
Shares of auto insurance firm Progressive announced a new stock buyback plan and issued a special dividend of $2 a share. Progressive, the third largest car insurer in the United States said the repurchase plan of 100 million shares will be added to the 8.3 million share authorization remaining from its 2006 plan.
Ilumina ticked higher after Bear Stearns upgraded the stock to "outperform" from "peer perform" and said the company could see earnings growth of 50% in 2009. "This is being driven by strong genetic research trends, where Ilumina is quickly becoming the leading provider of enabling technologies," wrote analyst Stephen Unger.