U.S. stocks opened lower on Wednesday, extending a losing streak into a fourth session, with global concerns again in play after Japan reported its exports declined by 12.5% in April after the earthquake and tsunami the prior month. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 12 points to 12,343. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell a point to 1,314. Reversing course, the Nasdaq Composite gained nearly a point to 2,746. The earnings keep coming in from the retail sector. Take Two Interactive, Zales, and Toll Brothers are higher following earnings. To the downside you have Express, Polo, Hormel, Costco, and American Eagle following earnings. Dillards upped their dividend and issued share backs, but the stock is lower. California Pizza Kitchen is up 9% after agreeing to a takeout offer. Martha Stewart is jumping 18% on news they hired Blackstone to look into strategic alternatives. The commodities are higher once again. Halliburton and El Paso are higher on upgrades. Freeport , Cliffs Natural Resources, and the fertilizers are higher. Molycorp is lower after offering 10 million shares. The financials are going nowhere. Bank of Montreal is unchanged following earnings. Sallie Mae is modestly lower even though it was upgraded. In the tech space Apple as upgraded and is modestly higher. Sycamore is higher after beating earnings estimates. Through the first hour the averages perked up with all the major averages into the green, but not by much. The conviction behind the buyers is not a strong one. Through the morning the averages ticked a little higher as a few more buyers stepped in. Through the afternoon the averages moved sideways until the last hour when a buy program kicked in, but the sellers came in at the close, snapping a three-session decline as energy and commodities-related companies gained after oil surpassed $101 a barrel. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 38 points to 12,394. The Standard & Poor's 500 gained 4 points to 1,320, while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 15 points to 2,761.
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