U.S. stocks opened modestly higher, with a spurt of corporate deals helping the indexes bounce back after six consecutive weeks of losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 40 points to 11,992. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 4 points to 1,275. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 9 points to 2,653. A number of deals and upgrades in the retail sector. Timberland is jumping 42% after agreeing to be bought out by VF Corp. VF Corp is also higher by 10%. Wendys is selling Arbys for $430 million. That deal never worked. Under Armour is jumping 4% on an upgrade. Lululemon was upgraded, but the stock is lower. Molson Coors is lower on a downgrade. Ford is lower after a judge ordered them to pay $2 billion in damages to their truck dealers. Carnival is down after they lowered guidance due to all the turmoil in Asia and the Middle East. The commodity space looks good. Transocean looks good on an upgrade. The fertilizers are performing well. Potash is up on M&A chatter. Patriot Coal is up 2% on an upgrade. Chesapeake Energy is modestly higher after upping their dividend. Cliffs Natural Resources is modestly higher on an upgrade. The financials are struggling to stay in the green. Regions Financial is down 3% on news of an internal audit. Travelers is modestly lower on a downgrade. Genworth sold a unit to Aetna for $290 million. The stock is up 3%. The techs are the weakest sector. All the chip stocks are lower on downgrades. Research in Motion was downgraded, but the stock is higher. Through the morning the averages struggled to remain in the green. Not many buyers out there. By the lunch hour the averages were back to the unchanged level struggling once again. Only a select number of financials are modestly in the green. Through the afternoon the averages actually improved rallying into the green led by the financials. In the last hour, however, the rally evaporated. The Dow average finished up a point at 11,952. The S&P 500 added 85 cents to 1,271. The Nasdaq Composite closed off 4 points at 2,639.
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