U.S. stocks opened higher on Thursday thanks to positive employment data even though retail earnings coming in last night and this morning have been disappointing. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 49 points to 12,609. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index climbed 3 points to 1,344. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 5 points to 2,820. The list of retailers trading lower following earnings include Limited, Advance Auto Parts, GameStop, Ross Stores, Williams Sonoma, Sears, and Buckle. Buckle is down 10%. Big Lots is down 9% after indicating they are not looking to sell their company. Macys and Soda Stream were upgraded, but both are lower. Tiffanys upped their dividend, but the stock is lower. Jack in the Box, PetSmart, Toro, Bon-Ton, and Childrens' Place are higher following earnings. The commodities and financials are down once again after a brief rally over the last several days. The techs are mixed. The recent darling, Intel is down 3% after Goldman Sachs slapped a sell rating on the firm. The semi equipment markets are lower as well. Cisco, BMC Software, Brocade and Aruba Networks are modestly higher on upgrades. Apple and Google are higher as well. In the first hour the Dow rose as much as 70 points before giving up most of those gains. The Nasdaq did the same, rallying only to give up the gains following the first hour. The most successful IPO in recent memory, social network firm LinkedIn nearly doubled on its' first trade thanks to strong demand. Good for them. Through the morning the averages remained weak, however during the lunch hour the averages rebounded into the green. Through the afternoon the averages remained in the green as LinkedIn kept pushing higher. The techs look good except for Intel, Corning, and Research in Motion. The commodities remain in the red along with most of the financials. In the last hour the averages were able to hold on to their gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 45 points at 12,605. The S&P 500 Index rose almost 3 points to end the day at 1,343. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 8 points to 2,823.
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