U.S. stocks open quietly this morning after a drumming yesterday. Concerns over a spreading Europe debt crisis eased in the wake of a successful Italian bond auction overnight. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 6 points to 12,498. The S&P 500 dipped 2 points to 1,317. The Nasdaq Composite fell 10 points to 2,792. Alcoa kicked off the earning season last night beating estimates by a penny. The stock is unchanged this morning along with most of the commodity sector. Arch Coal is higher on an upgrade. Cliffs Natural Resources is unchanged even though the company doubled their dividend. That's a good sign. Chevron is modestly higher on encouraging comments. The fertilizers look good this morning. In the tech space, the chips are weak following a 12% decline in Microchip after lowering guidance last night. Novellus is down 8% even though they beat estimates last night. KLA Tencor raised their dividend, but the stock is lower. Ebay, Google, Apple, and Oracle were all upgraded, but most are lower. Cree is lower on cautious comments. The retail sector is lower. Trex is down 14% after lowering guidance. Gamestop is down 3% on a downgrade. Priceline is lower even though it was upgraded. Through the first hour the averages vacillated around the unchanged level. Google looks good in the tech sector. Cisco is higher on rumors they are cutting jobs and Research in Motion is higher on rumors of a takeover. The financials except for Bank of America are looking better. M&T Bank is higher on an upgrade. The commodities also are inching into the green. Quiet morning and afternoon. Through the afternoon the averages tried to rally due to the Fed minutes. However the rally didn't last. In the last hour, the averages moved back down selling off into the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 58 points to 12,446 led by a 1.9% drop in Boeing and a 1.8% fall in Intel . The S&P 500 sank 5 points to 1,313. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 20 points to 2,781.91.
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