U.S. stocks opened mildly lower Friday, a day after equities posted their biggest gain in three months, as the February jobs report sparked worries that earnings growth might not be keeping up with rising energy costs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 4 points to 12,253. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index declined a point to 1,329. The Nasdaq Composite dipped 4 points to 2,794. Now that the economic data is out, Wall Street turns its focus back to the price of oil which is approaching $104 a barrel. The commodity stocks are lower, but not by much. Silver Wheaton is one of the few commodity stocks higher following better than expected earnings. CME exchange stock is lower even though it received an upgrade. The financials are all lower led by weakness in Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. Both are down over 2% on downgrades. Capital One was upgraded, but the stock is lower. The techs are lower as well. Marvell is down 8% following lackluster earnings. IBM and Juniper were upgraded, but both stocks are lower. HP is lower after an analyst lowered their PC growth rate. Intel is one of the few techs higher thanks to an upgrade. Through the first hour the Dow moved lower falling 50 points while the Nasdaq declined 10 points. Through the morning the averages put up a good battle trying to figure out whether they should go lower or rebound. A number of commodity stocks inched into the green while Apple and Corning in the tech space moved into the green. As we drew closer to the lunch hour the averages broke down as oil rallied above $104 a barrel. The Dow fell over 100 points as the Nasdaq declined 20 points. During the lunch hour the Dow fell further falling 150 points and the Nasdaq declined 26 points as rumors of protests in Saudi Arabia spooked the markets. Not many stocks are left in the green. In the last hour the averages moved back toward the lows of the day only to rebound into the close. Volatile market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down just 88 points at 12,169, led by a 1.8% drop in GE. The S&P 500 fell 9 points to 1,321, with financials and industrials falling the most. The Nasdaq Composite ended down 14 points, or 0.5%, at 2,784. Thanks to a last minute rebound all three averages finished up for the week.
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