U.S. stocks struggled Friday after a mostly lower start as Wall Street stumbled over equipment maker Caterpillar lower-than-expected quarterly earnings. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 4 points to 12,718, with component Caterpillar down 6.4%. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose a point to 1,344. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 9 points to 2,844. The earnings kept flooding in. In the tech sector AMD, Western Digital, and Sandisk are all up over 8% this morning. NCR is up 2% after beating estimates. HPQ is jumping 2% after announcing an additional $10 billion share buyback. Intel is higher on positive comments in the financial papers. IBM inched higher to another new 52 week high. Google and Apple look good of course. The financials are quiet this morning. GE is higher after beating estimates. Blackstone is up 2% on an upgrade. Sallie Mae is also higher on an upgrade. East Group is modestly higher following earnings. Suntrust is unchanged following earnings. Through the first hour the averages unraveled falling into the red as the US dollar rallied. An explosion in Norway at a government building isn't helping things as well. A number of stocks are trading lower following earnings besides Caterpillar. Verizon, Reynolds American, and Honeywell are lower as well by at least 3%. After the first hour the Dow fell 70 points while the Nasdaq declined 2 points. The commodities look good. The fertilizers are higher. Schlumberger is up 2% following earnings. Through the morning the averages recovered. The Nasdaq moved back into the green thanks to the big cap techs. The Dow recovered half its loses, but Caterpillar and Verizon remain big drags on the Dow. Verizon is down, not due to their earnings, but more to do with their CEO stepping down effective the end of the month. In the last hour nothing changed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 43 points at 12681, but up 1.6% for the week. The S&P 500 Index finished up a point at 1345 and up 2.2% on the week. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed up 24 points or nearly 1% at 2858. For the week the tech laden index rose 2.5%.
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