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U.S. stocks opened modestly lower on Friday as Wall Street waited for Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's speech on the economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 66 points to 11,083. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 5 points to 1,154. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 2 points to 2,417. A few earnings being reported, but for the most part, the news wires are quiet ahead of the Fed's comments. On the earnings front Krispy Kreme, Pandora Media, Aruba Networks, and Tiffanys are trading higher following earnings. The retail sector in general continues to perform well even as more and more investors seem convinced a recession is possible. The recent rally in the financials has fizzled out. Even Bank of America has succumbed to profit-taking as investors reassess the Warren Buffett investment. Sallie Mae was upgraded, but the stock is down 3%. The insurance stocks are weak ahead of Hurricane Irene. Hartford is down 2% even though the analyst admitted the stock is trading for just 6 times earnings. Tough market. The commodities are trading lower for the most part. Noble and Weatherford were upgraded, but only Noble is higher. At 10 o'clock, the Fed's speech provided no new policy initiatives which most investors conceded would be the outcome. The averages sold off with the Dow dropping 200 points and the Nasdaq declining 30 points. Luckily, the selling did dry up. After the first hour of trading, the averages rebounded led by the techs. Microsoft, Google, Apple, Intel, Cisco, and Research in Motion all look good. A number of commodities have also rebounded. Noble Corp is trading up 3%. After the first hour the Nasdaq rose 15 points while the Dow pared half its' losses. Through the morning the Nasdaq kept improving dragging the Dow back to the unchanged level. The techs remain in the lead with the chips sporting the biggest gains. In the afternoon the averages kept pushing higher. I don't know where this rally came from, but I'm not complaining. The financials and insurance stocks are two sectors not participating much in the rally. In the last hour the averages pulled back only to rebound into the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 134 points, or 1.2%, to 11,284, up 4.3% from last Friday's close. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 17 points, or 1.5%, to 1,176.80, for a weekly rise of 4.7%. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 60 points, or 2.5%, to 2,479, leaving it with a 5.9% weekly gain.
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