U.S. stocks opened higher on Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average at a multiyear high, as better-than-expected earnings once again support sentiment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 24 points to 12,477. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 6 points to 1,336. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 14 points to 2,816. Yesterday it was Intel leading the charge. Today it is Apple, up 2.5%. Qualcomm is up 3% following earnings while F5 Networks is up 8% on earnings. Cypress Semi and Nokia are higher following earnings. IBM also looks good, but the other big cap techs are struggling. Lam Research and Xerox are lower following earnings. The commodities are performing well. Newmont Mining, Schlumberger, Patriot Coal, and Diamond Offshore are higher following earnings. Nucor and Noble Corp are lower following earnings. Plenty of earnings in the financial space, however, the results are mixed. Morgan Stanley, Travelers, Blackrock, PNC Financial, Janus, and American Express are higher following earnings. Sallie Mae is jumping 16% after beating estimates, starting a dividend once again, and initiating a share buyback. Suntrust, Fifth Third, BB&T, T Rowe Price, and GE are lower following earnings. The big banks continue to struggle. Wells Fargo was downgraded. In the healthcare space UnitedHealth Group is jumping 8% following earnings. WellPoint is up 4% on sympathy. Biogen is jumping 18% on positive test results for their MS drug. That's good. After the first hour the averages gave up most of their gains. Not a good sign. Through the morning the averages recovered led by commodities. In the afternoon the averages remain in the green, but not by much. The Dow is being led by a 2% rally in IBM. Pfizer is down 3% after disappointing trials for their Alzheimer drugs. The Nasdaq is being led by a 2.5% rally in Apple following earnings. In the last hour the averages improved on their gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 52 points at 12,505 led by a 3.7% gain in Travelers and IBM. The S&P 500 gained 7 points to 1,337 led by chemicals companies and tech stocks. The Nasdaq Composite rose 17 points to 2,820. For the week, the Dow and S&P 500 rose 1.3% and the Nasdaq gained 2%.
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