U.S. stocks began Tuesday with mild gains following the third best day of the year yesterday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 6 points to 13,247. The S&P 500 rose nearly a point to 1,417. The Nasdaq Composite added nearly a point to 3,123. On the earnings front, Lennar is up 3% on better than expected numbers. All the homebuilders are up on this news and so far 2012 has been great to the homebuilders and financials. The banks are modestly lower this morning. US Bancorp and Bank of America are modestly lower on downgrades. Bond insurer is modestly higher on an upgrade. The techs are also holding in there. Apple is at a new high. IBM, Intel, and Cisco also made new highs for the year before pulling back. Micron is higher on an upgrade. Healthcare stocks have been on a roll with Obamacare going to the courts. Through the first hour the averages struggled to move beyond the unchanged level. But the good news is the broader market doesn't want to go down. The energy sector of late has struggled to keep up with the broader market due to fears of a slowdown in China. European oil and gas company, Total is lower by 6% due to a natural gas leak from one of their wells. Through the first hour the averages continued to hug the unchanged level with more stocks slipping into the red. The utilities are trading higher. The retail space continues to shine. McCormick and Walgreen are higher by 2% on earnings. American Eagle is higher on an upgrade. In the afternoon the averages kept moving sideways with only the energy and telecoms under a little bit of selling pressure. In the last hour a little more selling pressure put all the averages in the red led by energy stocks. Utilities were one of the few sectors to end in the green. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 43 points to 13,197. The S&P 500 dropped 4 points to 1,412. The Nasdaq Composite dropped just 2 points to 3,120 thanks to a one percent rally in Apple.
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