U.S. stocks opened higher on Wednesday, extending gains on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index into a third day, on expectations Europe would manage its debt trouble. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 53 points to 11,469. The S&P 500 climbed 8 points to 1,203. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 19 points to 2,602. Last night's weaker than expected earnings from Alcoa haven't thwarted the bulls. Alcoa is down 4%. Patriot Coal is down 4% on a downgrade. Chevron is unchanged on mixed quarterly guidance. The fertilizers are lower, but the rest of the commodities are performing well. Freeport is up 4% even though an analyst lowered estimates, but maintained a $68 price target. Tech space continues to perform well. The chip equipment stocks are acting well. ASML is up 5% following earnings. KLA-Tencor is higher on an upgrade. Intel keeps pushing higher on positive analyst comments. F5 Networks is higher on an upgrade. Cree is jumping 4% on positive analyst comments. A few techs are lower like Seagate, Lexmark, and QLogic on downgrades. Research in Motion is down 2% thanks in part to a major disruption to their service. That company can't seem to catch a break. The financials opened higher on a number of upgrades, but are struggling to maintain their gains. JP Morgan still looks good up 2.5% ahead of earnings tomorrow. The insurance stocks are performing well. In the retail space, Liz Claiborne is jumping 30% after selling a number of their brands. Pepsi is jumping 3% after beating estimates. Through the first hour the averages pushed higher with the Dow jumping 80 points and the Nasdaq rising 30 points. So far so good. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages pushed higher with the Dow moving momentarily into positive territory for the year only to sell off in the last hour similar to yesterday. However, we can't complain, it's another up day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 102 points at 11,518, led by a 3.5% rally in Disney's shares. The S&P 500 gained 11 points, or 1%, to 1,207 thanks to a 2.7% rise in the financial stocks. The Nasdaq Composite ended up 21 points, or 0.8%, at 2,604.
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