U.S. stock investors hit the pause button at the start of U.S trading Monday, sending blue-chips initially lower and with other major indexes waffling on either side of breakeven. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened unchanged at 12,720. The Nasdaq Composite added a point to 2,788. The S&P 500 gained 60 cents to 1,315. A quiet start to the week. The sectors that have led the rally in 2012 continue to shine. In the tech space Intel and Microsoft are making new highs. Apple is higher on an upgrade. IBM, Dell, and HP are higher as well. Old tech is doing well so far this year. Google is unchanged after getting clobbered last week following earnings. Research in Motion's CEOs are stepping down as many anticipated, however it isn't helping. Research in Motion is lower by 6%. The financials also look good. The big cap financials are pushing higher as well as the insurance stocks. Bank of Hawaii is lower by 2% following earnings. The commodity, energy, and material sectors are performing well although Halliburton is lower by 3% following earnings. Schlumberger is higher on an upgrade. Chesapeake Energy is higher by 5% as they will be trimming natural gas production to try and stop the free fall in the commodity price. Last week Provident Energy agreed to be bought out by a Canadian gas company. In the retail space Under Armour is higher by 3% on an upgrade. American Eagle is unchanged as their CEO is stepping down. Through the first hour the averages rallied only to give back the gains. Consumer staples, Transports, and healthcare are now in the red. Through the morning the averages moved lower on light volume. No heavy selling. In the afternoon more of the same, listless trading. In the last hour the averages attempted a rally making back to the unchanged level, but no follow through to the upside. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 11 points at 12,708. The S&P 500 added 60 cents to 1,316, its fifth day of gains, and at a nearly six-month high. The Nasdaq Composite fell 2.5 points, or 0.1%, to 2,784.
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