U.S. stocks erased mild opening gains Wednesday as investors drew only limited cheer from a better-than-anticipated report on the labor front. Failing to rebound from its longest losing streak in nearly three years, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped again by 9 points to 11,857. The Standard & Poor's Index was neutral at 1,254. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 3 points to 2,672. The earnings keep coming in better than expected. XL Capital, Big 5 Sports, Lincoln National, CBS, Dennys, MasterCard, Speedway Motorsports, Devon Energy, Pinnacle Entertainment, and Agrium are all trading higher following earnings. MasterCard is trading up 6%. The insurance stocks are also higher, but their good news isn't lending any support to the rest of the financials. In fact, the averages pushed lower after the open as more sellers entered the market. At 10 o'clock, a bounce in the averages following a better than expected manufacturing number did not last. Stocks trading lower following earnings include BRE Properties, Open Table, Boston Beer, Molex, AC Moore, and Frontier Communications. The recent IPO Dunkin Brands is down 2% after reporting their first earnings report as a publicly traded company. After the first hour the averages pushed lower with the Dow dropping 60 points and the Nasdaq declining 20 points. Here we go again. Through the morning the Dow fell as much as 160 points before rebounding. The Nasdaq fell nearly 50 points before rebounding. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 are now negative for the year. A few stocks are in the green, very few. The one commodity that continues to perform well throughout this correction is gold. In the afternoon the averages slowly improved once again. A lot of volatility today. By the middle of the afternoon the averages battled back to the unchanged level with a couple of techs and financials peaking into the green. In the last hour the bears gave up allowing the bulls to have an up day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 29 points to 11,896, its first advance in nine sessions. The S&P 500 rose 6 points to 1,260, its first rise in eight sessions. The Nasdaq Composite rose 23 points to 2,693. Some support from earnings and bargain hunters helped offset a bleak round of economic data. All three indexes are now slightly higher for the year; the Nasdaq had lost yearly advances intraday.
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