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U.S. stocks opened lower on Thursday as an improving U.S. labor market helped stem, but not override, worries about Europe's debt troubles. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped a quick 77 points to 12,341. The S&P 500 dropped 6 points to 1,270. The Nasdaq Composite fell nearly two points to 2,646. The European news is not getting any better hitting the financials, commodities, and other energy plays. Mosaic is bucking the trend following better than expected earnings last night. Monsanto is up 4% thanks to better than expected earnings. The tech sector is also bucking the trend with a number of upgrades. The list of techs trading higher on upgrades includes Nokia, LSI Logic, Ebay, VMware, Apple, Marvell, and Seagate. Seagate is up 6% after also raising guidance. Unfortunately, most companies are lowering guidance for the quarter not a good sign. Plenty of blow ups in the retail space on lowered guidance. The list includes Target down 3%, American Eagle down 14%, Kohls down 2%, Childrens' Place down 10%, Boston Beer down 6%, and the dog of the day Barnes and Noble down 28%. The good news is Barnes and Noble is selling plenty of Nooks, but the traditional brick and mortar book business just doesn't make money any more. Through the first hour the averages pushed lower with the Dow falling over 100 points before recovering. The Nasdaq fell 17 points before recovering. A number of techs and financials are higher, but that's about it today. A tough market. Through the morning the averages remained quiet until the lunch hour when the financials and techs started to perk up. Following the lunch hour the financials caught a bid dragging the major averages with it. Bank of America is leading the charge up 8% on double the average volume. In the tech space Microsoft, Intel, and Apple look good. In the last hour the averages couldn't hold on to their modest gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 2 points at 12,415, improving from a drop of more than 100 points. Boeing led decliners, off 1.1%, while Bank of America gained 8.6%. The S&P 500 advanced 3 points to 1,281, led by a 1.4% rally in financial stocks. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 21 points to 2,669.
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