U.S. stocks opened higher on Friday after monthly data showed the U.S. jobless rate fell to a two-and-a-half year low. Comments from Angela Merkel reiterating Germany's strong backing for the euro is also lending support. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 91 points to 12,111. The S&P 500 added 11 points to 1,255. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 24 points to 2,650. What a week. With today's opening, the Dow is up 900 points or 8% from last Friday's close. The financials for once are in the lead. JP Morgan is up 7%, Goldman Sachs is up 6%, Citigroup is up 6%, and Bank of America is up 5%. The insurance stocks also look good. Metlife is up 3%. Allstate is up a percent on an upgrade. The techs look good as well. Google continues its' turnaround. IBM is at a new 52 week high. Novellus is up 2% thanks to a mid-quarter update. Netsuite is up 4% on an upgrade. Analog Devices is higher on an upgrade. Intel and Microsoft are lagging. Research in Motion is the dog of the day in tech land down 9% after disclosing they will have to take a charge for their poor selling Playbook tablet. The rest of the sectors are higher, but not by much. Valero is up 3% on an upgrade. Cliffs Natural Resources is higher thanks to an upgrade. In the retail space, Cracker Barrel and Lowes are higher on upgrades. Lululemon is jumping 5% recovering much of the sell off following earnings the other day. Big Lots however is lower by 9% on disappointing earnings. Through the morning the Dow rose over 100 points only to pull back a little into the lunch hour as a few components dipped into the red. The Nasdaq remains strong up 17 points. The utilities are lower as interest rates are nudging up a bit. Through the afternoon more and more stocks dropped into the red. Can't blame investors after such a big run up.In the last hour the averages gravitated back to the unchanged level. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 61 cents at 12,019 for a weekly gain of 7%. It was the best week in terms of percentage gain for the Dow since July 2009. The S&P 500 edged down 31 cents to to 1,244. It rose 7.4% during the week, the biggest weekly percentage rise since March 2009. Only the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 73 cents to close at 2,626, bringing the weekly increase to 7.6%. That is the best since October.
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