U.S. stocks opened modestly higher on Monday after the government reported consumers spent more than expected in February. After its biggest weekly gain since July, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 20 points to 12,241. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 2 points to 1,315. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 6 points to 2,749. After such a run up last week, you'd expect some weakness this weekend, but none so far. After the open the commodities commenced their rally. Freeport McMoran is up a percent on an upgrade. The other commodities also look good including Cliffs Natural Resources, the fertilizers, and steels. US Steel is up 1.5% on takeover rumors. The oil drillers are modestly lower on a couple downgrades. The techs are trying to rally. Google and Apple are modestly higher. Research in Motion is higher after getting clobbered last week. Alcatel Lucent is jumping 9% on an upgrade. Nokia is up 5% on an upgrade. Oracle and Nvidia are modestly higher on positive comments. Eastman Kodak is jumping 10% thanks to a Federal judge that said he would review a patent claim against Apple and Research in Motion that could produce a settlement worth hundreds of millions for Kodak. The financials opened lower, but are trying to battle back. BB&T is up a percent on an upgrade. In the retail space Liz Claiborne is higher even though they reported a loss. Philips is down 2% following earnings after producing a quarterly loss in their flat screen television business. Best Buy had similar difficulties after reporting their earnings last week. After the first half an hour the averages remained perked up a little bit. After the first hour the Dow remained strong up 40 points. Upgrades for two Dow components AT&T and Verizon are helping the average. Verizon is at a new 52 week high. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages drifted from the highs. The financials are lower on cautious analyst comments on Goldman Sachs. Hotel firm, Marriott International is dragging down their sector on cautious comments. In the last hour the Nasdaq fell into the red dragging the Dow with it. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 22 points at 12,197. The S&P 500 dipped 3 points to 1,310. The Nasdaq Composite lost 12 points closing at 2,730.
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