U.S. stocks opened higher Thursday after gains in equities overseas, with Wall Street focused on corporate profit and the U.S. economic recovery. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 40 points to 12,126. Caterpillar is higher by a percent to new highs after reaffirming numbers last night. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 3 points to 1,301. The Nasdaq Composite rose 11 points to 2,710. Better than expected earnings from a number of techs and retailers are lifting the averages. In the tech space chipmaker Micron is up 7% following earnings. Software firm Redhat is up 17% following earnings. Oracle and Research in Motion are higher ahead of earnings tonight. Amazon is up 3% on an upgrade. Apple, Google, and IBM also look good. In the retail space Gamestop is up 3% following in line earnings. Talbots is jumping 23% following so-so earnings. ConAgra is higher following earnings. Arctic Cat is jumping 10% on an upgrade. Best Buy opened higher following earnings, but then sold off following conservative earnings guidance. Through the first hour the averages pulled back from the highs as the financials and commodities pulled back. The financials can't get going. US Bancorp is modestly higher on an upgrade. Bank of America is lower following a downgrade. On the acquisition front, Walgreen is buying out Drugstore.com for $409 million. Drugstore.com is up only 111%. Not bad. Through the morning the averages spiked higher with the Dow jumping 70 points and the Nasdaq rising 27 points. The commodities and financials are getting dragged higher. Resilient market. In the afternoon the averages remained strong, but off the highs until the last hour when they rebounded into the close. U.S. stocks advanced Thursday as investors entered corporate earnings season with high hopes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 84 points at 12,170 with Hewlett-Packard and Home Depot as the top gainers. The S&P 500 gained 12 points to 1,309. The Nasdaq Composite rose 38 points, or 1.4%, to 2,736.
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