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U.S. stocks opened slightly higher on Friday after a series of economic reports took some of the sting from disappointing earnings results from search giant Google and Bank of America. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 18 points to 12,303. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 2 points to 1,317. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 9 points to 2,750. Google is down 7% following disappointing earnings. Apple is lower as well and Cisco is lower on a downgrade, but the rest of the techs are holding up better. Motorola Mobility and VMware are higher on upgrades. IBM, Research in Motion, and Intel are higher. Bank of America is lower, but the rest of the financials are holding up better. Webster Financial is up 2% after beating estimates. Charles Schwab is up 3% after beating estimates. Fifth Third is higher on an upgrade. The big winner so far is Assured Guaranty up 25% after receiving a check for a billion dollars from Bank of America for liabilities for bond insurance. All the bond insurers are acting well. MasterCard is lower on a downgrade. In the retail space Mattel is up 4% on earnings. Finish Line and Foot Locker are both up 4% on upgrades. CBS is higher on an upgrade. American Eagle is up 2% on rumored takeovers. Hasbro is unchanged on an upgrade. Urban Outfitters is down 3% after a key executive left. Best Buy is down 2% on cautious comments. After the first hour the averages remained in the green, but not by much. Through the morning the averages improved with the Dow rising 70 points. The Dow Jones Industrial Average components look good except for Bank of America. The defensive stocks are acting well. Philip Morris, Altria, and Kraft are trading at 52 week highs. The drug sector is also performing well. Outside these sectors the markets really don't look so good. In the afternoon the rally started to fizzled. In the tech sector Google and Apple pushed lower. The rest of the techs are holding up better. Within the financials, Bank of America moved lower, the weakest Dow component. In the last hour the averages gave up a little more of their gains, but remained in the green. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 57 points at 12,342, for a weekly loss of 0.3%. The S&P 500 Index rose 5 points to close at 1,320, for a weekly loss of 0.6%/ The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 4 points to 2,765 for a weekly loss of 0.6%.
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