U.S. stock indexes open modestly lower as oil rises above $100 a barrel outweigh enthusiasm from economic data demonstrating more robust jobs growth in February. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 17 points to 12,040. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index dipped a point to 1,304. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell nearly 2 points to 2,735. A number of stocks are trading lower following earnings including Tivo, MBIA, Costco, Staples, McCormick & Schmick, and Joy Global. BJs and St Joe Company are modestly higher following earnings. The commodity space looks good this morning. The steel sector looks good thanks to positive comments at Goldman Sachs. The oil drillers look good even as oil moves above $100 a barrel. One oil driller Weatherford is down 14% after delaying their 10-K for accounting issues. Wall Street hates accounting issues. After the first half an hour the averages moved into the green. The financials look good including Goldman Sachs which faced a number of bad headlines yesterday. Hudson City is lower on a downgrade. Metlife is down 4% after announcing they will issue more shares. In the tech space Oracle, Xilinx, and Texas Instruments are higher on upgrades. Ironically Apple moved into the red ahead of their presentation of their new Ipad. After the first hour the averages improved as oil dipped back below $100 a barrel. The Dow rose 40 points while the improved by 17 points. Through the morning the Dow gave up its gains as oil moved back above $100 a barrel. The Nasdaq remains in the green. In the afternoon the Dow vacillated around the unchanged level with the Nasdaq still in the green. Apple's stock improved with the appearance of Steve Jobs at their Ipad press release. In the last hour the averages fluctuated quite a bit only to close not far from the unchanged level. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 8 points at 12,066, led by a 1.1% gain in Caterpillar. The S&P 500 added 2 points to 1,308, fronted by energy and tech stocks including chip firm Xilinx. The Nasdaq Composite added 10 points to 2,748.
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