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U.S. stocks opened modestly lower Wednesday after the previous session's sharp rise, with losses curbed by a bigger-than-expected rise in orders for U.S. durable goods in July. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 19 points to 11,157. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell a point to 1,160. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 2 points to 2,443. The first few minutes of trading looked precarious until the buyers kicked in purchasing the financials of all things. Bank of America is jumping 8% following an upgrade at Raymond James. All the financials look good for once. A recent IPO, LPL is one of the few financials lower on a downgrade. A number of commodities are also trading higher. Nucor is up 2.5% on an upgrade. The fertilizers also look good. Trina Solar is lower on a downgrade. Newmont Mining was upgraded, but the stock is down by 3%. In the tech sector, Google is higher thanks to an upgrade and news of a settlement with the government. Computer Science is up 2% after also settling a claim with the government. Apple is higher as well, but most of the other techs are not participating. In the first hour, the Dow rose as much as 90 points thanks to the financials. The Nasdaq inched up 13 points. After the first hour, however, the averages had given up half their gains. The financials are still in the lead. On the earnings front, Pacific Sunwear and American Eagle look awful following disappointing guidance. Saks is up 5% on an upgrade. La-Z-Boy is modestly higher following earnings. Through the morning the Nasdaq fell into the red while the Dow held on to modest gains thanks to the financials. In the afternoon the averages reaccelerated led by the financials. In the last hour the rally pushed higher with the Dow rising over 100 points. I hope Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has something good to say on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 143 points, or 1.3%, at 11,320. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 15 points, or 1.3%, to 1,177. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 21 points to 2,467.
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