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U.S. stocks opened with robust gains Thursday with Europe's situation seemingly less dire after Italy's bond auction went better than expected and the U.S. government reported another drop in weekly jobless claims. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 114 points to 11,895. The S&P 500 rose 13 points to 1,242. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 22 points to 2,643. It's actually been a good week excluding yesterday's bombshell. Yesterday's 400 points drop reminds us that the European debt crisis remains the lead story. Luckily today the news out of Europe has subdued with Italian bond yields pull back. On the earnings front Cisco is leading the charge up 6%. The techs in general look good except for Apple. For some reason Apple has lagged recently. Intel is higher even though one analyst made cautious comments about inventory. Research in Motion is also lower making a new 52 week low. The commodity space is rebounding, but not by much. The financials are modestly higher following the lack of news out of Europe. UBS and the other European banks look good. MBIA and Stifel are higher following earnings. It's all or nothing with the financials. Plenty of news out of the retail sector. Advance Auto Parts, Tim Horton, Viacom, and Kohls are higher following earnings. Chipotle Mexican Grill and Polo are higher on upgrades. GM is higher following disappointing earnings the other day. The dog of the day goes to Green Mountain Coffee down 29% following earnings. From March to now, Green Mountain's stock went from $46 a share to a $110 back to $46 a share. That's a round trip. Through the first hour the averages gave up some of their gains particularly the techs. Apple is down 2%. Google is also higher, but Cisco is holding strong. The commodities have also pulled back along with a couple of banks like Bank of America and Goldman Sachs. After the first hour the averages drifted lower with the Nasdaq falling into the red. A couple more stocks are trading higher following earnings. MAKO Surgical and Huntington Ingalls are both up over 4% following earnings. Merck looks good up 2.5% after hiking their dividend 10%. The stock has actually performed well trading just under its 52 week high, but thanks to the hike in the dividend the yield is up to 4.8%. That's good risk reward. Heading into the lunch hour the averages rebounded led by the Dow. The techs remain weak except for Cisco. In the afternoon the Dow surged once again, rallying over 100 points. The Nasdaq remained near the unchanged level due to a 2.5% decline in Apple. Apple seems to have lost its' mojo. In the last hour the averages were able to hold on to their gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 112 points, or 1%, at 11,893, led by a 5.7% gain in Cisco Systems. The S&P 500 rose 10 points to 1,239. The Nasdaq Composite edged up 3.5 points to 2,625.
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