The U.S. stocks fell slightly at Wednesday's opening as traders balanced better-than-expected U.S. economic data, earnings reports from key technology and banking companies and overseas equities boosted by hopes about new plans to tackle Europe's sovereign debt crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 6 points to 11,571. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index lost 2 points to 1,223. The Nasdaq composite dropped 11 points to 2,646. It's all about earnings. In the tech sector, Intel is trading at a new high thanks to better than expected earnings. Yahoo is up 5% even though earnings were less than stellar. Juniper is unchanged following earnings. Apple, however, is down 5% after missing estimates for the first time in years. Another tech getting hit includes Cree down 7% on disappointing earnings and outlook. The financials are holding up this morning. Northern Trust, US Bancorp, and PNC are higher following earnings. Travelers is jumping 5% thanks to earnings. Piper Jaffray, M&T Bank, and Blackrock are lower following earnings. Visa raised their dividend, but the stock is modestly lower. The rest of the market is trading lower. The commodities are lower. Freeport beat estimates, but the stock is lower. The oils look good. In the healthcare space, Abbott Labs is jumping 4% after reporting earnings and a decision to split the company into two. Intuitive Surgical is jumping 9% following earnings and upgrades. The averages initially sold off only to rebound through the first hour led by the financials. The Dow rose 30 points while the Nasdaq remained solidly in the red due in part to weakness in Apple down 4%. Through the morning the averages improved slightly. Freeport turned around. That's a good sign. The analyst community seem to be in a better mood lately. In the retail space Ross Store, TJX, and Coke are higher on upgrades. Las Vegas Sands is higher as well on an upgrade. In the afternoon the Dow rose as much as 50 points trying to drag the Nasdaq with it, but the rally didn't last. By the middle of the afternoon, negative comments out of Europe and cautious comments in the Beige Book brought in the sellers. In the last hour the selling accelerated. So much for our rally. Intel and Travelers look good within the Dow and that's about it. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finish down 72 points at 11,504, led by more than 3% drops in Alcoa and Bank of America. The S&P 500 fell 15 points, or 1.3%, to 1,209, led by a pullback in natural-resource stocks. The Nasdaq Composite lost 53 points, or 2%, to 2,604.
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