U.S. stocks started with mild losses Tuesday, as investors stayed to the sidelines ahead of midmorning U.S. data and the release of the Federal Reserve's interest-rate-meeting minutes.. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 14 points to 12,386, led by a slip in Boeing shares. The S&P 500 dipped a point to 1,331. Nat Semi shares are surging 71%, leading gains on the S&P 500. The Nasdaq Composite turned higher, up 3 points at 2,792 even though Apple is lower after the Nasdaq 100 index dropped its' tech giants weighting from 20% to 12%. A number of the blue chip techs like Microsoft, Intel, Oracle had their weighting increased. Chip stocks are a standout after Texas Instruments said it would buy National Semiconductor for $6.5 billion. Intel, Qualcomm, Broadcom, Netflix, Marvell, RF Micro Devices, and Texas Instruments all received upgrades this morning. Google is lower by 2% for some reason this morning. The commodities opened lower, but soon rallied. Can't keep the commodities down. The financials are unchanged this morning. Capital One, Zion Bancorp, JP Morgan, and Wells Fargo were all upgraded, but it doesn't seem to be helping. KB Homes is down 8% after reporting March sales. Within the first hour the averages moved lower only to rebound. Through the morning the averages moved into the green. Besides the NSM- Texas Instruments deal, Merck is also buying a firm Inspire Pharmaceutical for $430 million. Inspire is jumping 25%. PG is selling their Pringle division to Diamond Foods for $2.4 billion. Diamond Foods is jumping 10%. So far so good today. In the afternoon the averages remained in the green, but not by much. Within the Dow Jones Alcoa, Chevron, AT&T, and DuPont all made new highs today with a number of other components within 1% of their highs. The techs remain a drag with Apple still trading lower. Google is down 3.5% after the government's FTC division started an investigation into their search engine. A number of commodities have given up their gains. In the last hour the Dow was unable to maintain its' gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 6 points at 12,393 with a 1% pullback in General Electric shares leading decliners. The S&P 500 edged back 20 cents to 1,332. Telecom stocks led gains while materials advanced 1.1%, led by Newmont Mining shares as gold futures notched a new settlement record. The Nasdaq Composite ended up 2 points at 2,791.
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