U.S. stocks surged higher at Thursday's start, recovering a large chunk of the prior day's losses, as investors looked to a Group of Seven meeting to help calm investors' nerves about the nuclear disaster in Japan. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 127 points to 11,741. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 16 points to 1,273. The Nasdaq Composite added 35 points to 2,652. It's appropriate for the major averages to start in the green on St Patrick's Day. With the news out of Japan not as dire as yesterday, the bulls are inching their way back into the markets. On the earnings front, FedEx is jumping 5% on in line earnings and encouraging comments about the future. The transportation average is up 2% this morning. The commodities look good. Freeport McMoran is jumping 2% while Cliffs Natural Resources is up 3%. Petro China is up a percent on earnings. Noble Energy is higher on an upgrade. Devon Energy is higher even though it was downgraded. The financials are modestly higher this morning, but no major follow through. In the tech space Apple and Google look good thanks in part to upgrades. BMC Software, Motorola Mobility, EMC, and HP are also higher on upgrades. Akamai is jumping 5% on an upgrade. Qualcomm is up 3% on news they won't see a significant impact from the Japanese disaster. That's good. IBM is unchanged on a downgrade to neutral. Through the first hour the averages remained near the highs of the day.
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