U.S. stocks fell Wednesday, with the S&P 500 retreating from July highs, on concern Europe's debt problems would curb the global economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 49 points to 12,413. The S&P 500 Index declined 5 points to 1,286. The Nasdaq Composite shed 4 points to 2,698. The major averages were able to rally yesterday thanks to no news out of Europe. However, today negative comments from the credit rating firm Fitch about European has brought the crisis back to the front pages. The financials are once again trading lower. UBS is lower after announcing a shelf offering. Jefferies is lower by 2% even though Oppenheimer made positive comments. Huntington Bancshares and MasterCard are lower on downgrades. MBIA is bucking the trend on positive analyst comments. Homebuilder, Lennar is up 2% even though they missed earnings estimates. The techs opened lower this morning led by Microsoft and cautious comments about PC sales due to the flooding in Thailand. The PC centric stocks are all trading lower. Cree is lower even though the firm received positive analyst comments. That stock can't get out of its' own way. Akamai, Google, and Salesforce.com are bucking the trend trading higher on upgrades. For a second straight day, the retail sector is demonstrating a lot of volatility. Urban Outfitters is down 17% as their CEO is stepping down. Supervalu is down 10% after missing estimates. On the plus side, Decker Outdoors and Direct TV are higher on upgrades. Through the first hour the averages remained in the red, but a number of techs and financials are moving into the green. Through the rest of the morning and into the afternoon the averages slowly improved thanks to the techs and financials. The financials are getting a lift in part to the home builder stocks which are trading up 7 to 10%. Not bad. In the last hour the Nasdaq held on to gains as the Dow remained in the red. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 13 points at 12,449. The S&P 500 gained nearly half a point to 1,292. The Nasdaq Composite rose 8 points to 2,710.
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