U.S. stocks began modestly higher on Tuesday, extending gains into a second day, as reports on manufacturing in Europe and China lifted sentiment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 40 points to 10,895. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index climbed 3 points to 1,127. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 13 points to 2,359. The news is light this morning as most investors and analysts are paralyzed, not knowing what to do. On the earnings front, Heinz and William Sonoma are both down over 3% following disappointing earnings. However, Medtronic, Trina Solar, and Bank of Montreal look good following earnings. The banks look good for once, but the rally didn't last. Similar to yesterday, the sellers came in shortly after the open, putting a damper on the rally. Bank of America looks awful, down 6% to new lows. The rest of the financials followed suit. Goldman Sachs is down once again on rumors the CEO has hired a high profile lawyer for possible lawsuits from the Justice Department. Not a lot of good news in the financial arena. The techs are acting a little better. AOL, Apple, Juniper Networks, Google, and Ebay are all higher on upgrades. Microsoft, Oracle, Red Hat, and Akamai had their price targets lowered at Stifel, but the stocks are higher. The commodities are also trading higher. Noble Energy is higher on an upgrade. After the first half an hour, in line manufacturing data and housing numbers sent the averages higher. The Dow, after giving up most of its gains is now up over 100 points. The Nasdaq is up 30 points. Even the financials rebounded into the green, but not by much. Aetna is up 2% on an upgrade, but the rest of the insurance stocks are struggling. Hartford made a new 52 week low this morning. Bank of America, remains in the red. Not a good sign. Through the morning the averages remained in the green, but there is not much conviction to this market. Once the European markets closed, our averages crept up to new highs for the day. In the afternoon the averages got an added boost from Bank of America firing back at an analyst that predicted B of A would have to raise at least $100 billion. In the middle of the afternoon the averages dipped on news of an earthquake in Virginia. A number of financials are selling off pretty good including Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and Hartford. All three are down 2% or more. After a mid afternoon sell off, the averages rebounded in the last hour. On the surface, it was a good day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 322 points, or 3%, at 11,176. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 38 points, or 3.4%, to 1,162. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 100 points, or 4.3%, to 2,446.
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