U.S. stocks opened modestly higher on Thursday as portfolio positioning moves on the final day of the second quarter trumped economic data, which had the government reporting a 12th straight week of jobless claims above 400,000. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 47 points to 12,309. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 3 points to 1,310. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 11 points to 2,752. On the earnings front, Worthington Industries is jumping 8% following better than expected earnings and a hike in the dividend. Callaway Golf is down 3% on disappointing earnings and lowered guidance. At 9:45am, a strong than expected manufacturing number sent the averages higher. The Dow jumped 100 points led by industrials, commodities, and techs. In the tech space, all the blue chips are up. Intel is up 2.5% even though one analyst put a hold rating on the stock. Yahoo, Riverbed Tech, and Qualcomm are higher on upgrades. Juniper Networks was downgraded, but the stock is higher. Ebay is jumping 5% thanks to an upgrade. The stock was up yesterday due to favorable debit card regulations. Visa and MasterCard are down 2% following a 10% rally yesterday on that debit card news. The financials are one of the few sectors not participating in the rally. Most analysts have come up with reports on Bank of America saying their litigation problems are not behind them yet. The stock is down 1.7%. The commodities for the most part are rallying. Monsanto is up 1.5% although the fertilizers are lower. Hess is jumping 2% on an upgrade. After the first hour the averages kept accelerating with the Dow rallying 125 points and the Nasdaq rallying 23 points. The financials and the fertilizers are not participating in the rally. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages moved sideways near the highs of the day. More stocks are inching into the green. Bank America is the weakest Dow component down 1.7%. In the last hour the averages rallied into the close to finish out the month and the quarter. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 152 points, or 1.3%, at 12,414, leaving the blue-chip index up 0.8% for the second quarter and off 1.2% for June. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 13 points, or 1%, to 1,320, down 0.4% for the just-ended quarter and off 1.8% for the month. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 33 points, or 1.2%, to 2,773, off 0.3% for the quarter and off 2.2% for June.
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