U.S. stocks started lower on Thursday after the government reported unemployment claims climbed for the first time in three weeks and wholesale prices rose 0.7% in March. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 50 points to 12,220. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index declined 6 points to 1,307. The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 18 points to 2,743. Every sector is trading lower this morning. The techs are lower ahead of Google's earnings tonight. Fairchild Semi opened higher this morning following earnings, but then sold off by 5%. Intel is lower by a percent on a downgrade. Broadcom was upgraded, but the stock is lower. The financials are particularly weak this morning. Goldman Sachs downgraded the sector. Speaking of Goldman Sachs , that stock is down 2% on alleged deception in front of the Senate Panel. JP Morgan reported strong earnings yesterday, but the stock is trading down 2% this morning even as FBR raised earnings estimates for JP Morgan. The commodities for the most part are lower once again. The fertilizers and the rare earth metals are modestly higher. With the commodities lower, the transportation sector is performing better. JB Hunt is up 5% thanks to strong earnings and an upgrade. The autos are lower this morning. Ford is recalling a million F-150 trucks. Goldman Sachs upgraded Toyota, but the stock is lower. With the first hour the averages pushed lower, but then rebounded. In the retail space Supervalu is up 11% after beating estimates. The largest McDonalds franchise owner in Argentina came public today on the NYSE Exchange. The stock is up 26% from its' IPO price. Through the morning the averages remained in the red. In the afternoon the Dow fought back thanks to a number of defensive plays. Kraft and Coke are trading at new 52 week highs. In the last hour the Dow improved with the Dow rally over 20 points dragging the Nasdaq back to the unchanged level. The financials and most techs remained weak. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 14 points at 12,285 with Kraft Foods and Coca-Cola leading advancers. The S&P 500 edged up 11 cents to 1,314. The Nasdaq Composite ended down a point to 2,760.
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