U.S. stocks opened sharply higher on Tuesday, a day after strong quarterly results from Dow component International Business Machines. A sharp rise in housing starts also supported investor optimism a day after a rout on Wall Street. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 116 points to 12,502. The Standard & Poor's 500 gained 12 points to 1,317. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 38 points to 2,803. The earnings are coming in much better than expected. IBM is up 4% to a new all time high leading the techs higher. Apple also made a new all time high this morning ahead of earnings tonight. The chips look good. Intel is up 2% ahead of earnings tomorrow. AMD is up 4% on an upgrade. The commodities look great. Mosaic is up 4% following earnings last night lifting all the fertilizers. The oil stocks look good. Halliburton is up 3% on an upgrade. Cliffs Natural Resources and Freeport McMoran also look great. The one sector that can't get out of its' own way is the financials. Bank of America and Goldman Sachs are at new 52 week lows following disappointing earnings. Zions Bancorp is lower after missing estimates. State Street and TD Ameritrade are also lower following earnings. Wells Fargo is one bright spot up 4% after beating estimates. Bank of NY and KeyCorp are higher following earnings. Annaly Mortgage is modestly higher on an upgrade. In the retail space Harley Davidson is jumping 10% following strong earnings. Ford is also higher on an upgrade. Coke is up 3% after beating estimates. Netflix is up 2% following a couple of upgrades. Through the first hour the Dow rose 125 points. The Nasdaq rose 47 points. The markets look good if only we could get the financials to participate. Through the morning the averages pulled back from the highs as more stocks dipped into the red. The financials are only getting worse. In the afternoon the averages reaccelerated with the Dow jumping 180 points and the Nasdaq remained strong up 50 points thanks to encouraging comments out of Washington that the Congressman are getting closer to a debt ceiling agreement. The commodities and techs are leading the charge with the financials continuing to lag. In the last hour the averages held their gains actually improving a little bit with the Dow topping 200 points thanks to a 5% jump in IBM's shares. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 202 points at 12,587. The price-weighted index was boosted by a $9.93, or 5.7% rise, in IBM's stock. Tech stocks also lifted the Nasdaq Composite with a 61 point rally or 2.2%, to close at 2,826, its best day since October. The S&P 500 ended up 21 points, or 1.6%, at 1,326.
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