U.S. stocks opened sharply higher on Monday with Wall Street cheering a last-minute deal to hike the U.S. borrowing limit. Lawmakers were expected to vote later in the day on the agreement that includes $2.4 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years. Bouncing back after its worst week in more than a year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 92 points to 12,235. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 10 points to 1,303. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 31 points to 2,787. Everything is in the green to start the week. On the earnings front, Allstate is jumping 3% following strong earnings. HSBC is higher on better than expected earnings. All the financials look good. Visa and PNC are higher on upgrades. In the tech space Apple and Google look good. Apple was upgraded. EMC is higher on an upgrade. The commodities look good as well. In the fertilizer space CF Industries, Potash, and Agrium are all higher on upgrades. Cliffs Natural Resources is higher as well. At 10 o'clock, a weak manufacturing number sent the averages into the red. The Dow dropped a quick 100 points. The Nasdaq fell 15 points. We went from everything being green, to very few stocks left in the green. Not a good sign. Through the morning the averages remained weak with the Dow down over 100 points. The Nasdaq declined 30 points. The healthcare and defense areas are experiencing some weakness on government budget cuts. General Dynamics is down over 2%. The healthcare providers like UnitedHealth Group, Humana, and WellPoint are all down over 3%. Tough, tough, market. In the afternoon, heading into the last hour the averages slowly improved with more stocks popping into the green. In the last hour the Dow briefly moved into the green thanks to some grandstanding by the Republican party. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 10 points at 12,132, down for a seventh day, its longest string of straight declines since early July 2010. The blue-chip average had rallied out of the gate, gaining as much as 139 points, after the Obama administration and Congress announced a compromise to lift the debt ceiling and cut spending. The S&P 500 lost 5 points to 1,286. The Nasdaq Composite fell 11 points to 2,744.
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