U.S. stocks edged tentatively higher on Monday, with Wall Street taking a cautious stance while tracking events in Europe, with Italy the current focus. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 16 points to 12,000. The S&P 500 Index added 3 points to 1,256. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 3 points to 2,689. The news out of Europe is certainly not getting any better. Surprisingly, the averages are higher this morning. The financials, a good barometer for Europe, are holding steady this morning. Jefferies is up 2% as fears ease regarding their European sovereign debt exposure. Keycorp is higher on an upgrade. The techs look good this morning thanks to some positive analyst comments regarding Cisco, Nvidia, and Brocade. All three report earnings this week. Symantec and Juniper were upgraded as well, but both are trading lower. The commodities are trading higher this morning include gold. Fluor is higher on an upgraded. Cliffs Natural Resources and Agrium were downgraded, but both are higher. Louisiana Pacific is modestly higher even though they missed earnings estimates this morning. Through the first hour the Dow rose over 50 points back above 12,000 before pulling back again. The Nasdaq fell into the red as Apple dragged the average lower. On the earnings front, Dish Network, Sysco, and Tesco are lower. Tesco is down 16%. Rosetta Resources is jumping 4% after beating estimates. In the retail space Home Depot and Pier One are higher on upgrades. Home Depot is not far from its' 52 week high. In the transportation space, UPS is higher after announcing 55,000 seasonal hires for the holiday stretch. Finally some good news on the jobs front even if it's temporary. Through the morning the averages drifted lower. Italy takes center stage along with Greece regarding their debt problems. The US dollar is rebounding sending the commodities lower. The markets look more like what people were anticipating on the open. Through the morning into the lunch hour the averages pushed lower with the Dow dropping 100 points and the Nasdaq declining 30 points. Not many stocks are trading higher. Dish Network turned around jumping 4% after announcing a special onetime dividend. Amgen is up nearly 5% after announcing a $5 billion share buyback in a Dutch auction. Heading into the last hour the averages rebounded. In the last hour the rally accelerated. A very good sign. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 85 points at 12,068, led by a 3.4% rally in Hewlett-Packard. The S&P 500 rose 7 points to 1,261. In a last-hour reversal, gains spread to all 10 industry sectors, led by health care and telecommunications. The Nasdaq Composite rose 9 points to 2,695.
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