U.S. stocks started higher on Monday to start the first full week of the New Year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 24 points to 12,400. GE is up a percent after receiving a positive cover piece on the Barrons magazine over the weekend. Pfizer is also higher after selling a drug manufacturer division for $2.3 billion. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 3 points to 1,336. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 9 points to 2,799. A few week and a new quarter, but the commodities continue to lead. Potash and Agrium are higher thanks to positive comments. All the fertilizers are higher. The copper, iron ore, steel, and oil stocks are higher. Rare earth metal play Molycorp is jumping 8% after acquiring a European manufacturer for $89 million. The techs and financials opened higher, but then sold off. Apple is lower even though the stock received an upgrade with a $480 price target. Google opened higher on an upgrade, but then sold off. F5 Networks is higher on an upgrade. The financials are back in a rut. Wells Fargo is lower after the SEC fined their Wachovia division. In the retail space Under Armour, Cheesecake Factory, and Ford look good on upgrades. McDonald is higher after announcing they will hire 50,000 workers in the next year. After the first hour the Dow remained up, but only by 15 points. The Nasdaq is now unchanged. The Dow Jones Transportation Average is modestly higher even though Southwest Airlines seems to have planes falling apart. Their stock is down 2.5%. Through the morning the averages gave up their gains with the weakness in the techs. Apple, Intel, Research in Motion, and HP are all down by a percent. The commodities are holding their gains. Heading into the lunch hour the Dow improved dragging the Nasdaq with it. In the afternoon the averages drifted lower again on light, light, volume. Nobody is stepping in today. The commodities are the only sector acting well today. In the last hour not much changed other than the Dow holding on to gains closing at a new high for the year, highest close since June 5, 2008. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 23 points at 12,400 led by a 1.1% gain in shares of Johnson & Johnson and a 1% climb in shares of Walmart. The S&P 500 inched up 46 cents at 1,332. The Nasdaq Composite, however, snapped a four-session winning streak to end at 2,789 down 41 cents.
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