U.S. stocks on Tuesday started a new month with tentative losses ahead of data that could illustrate U.S. manufacturing expanded at a slower pace for April. "Earnings are the key market support, but investors are unwilling to pay for future earnings when the economic and political climate is so cloudy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 12 points to 13,200. The S&P 500 shed nearly half a point to 1,397. The Nasdaq Composite held steady at 3,046. The earnings are slowing, but still coming in. Stocks trading lower on earnings include MeadWestvaco, Bank Atlantic, Martin Marietta, Automatic Data, Hospira, Dominos' Pizza, Cummings, Legg Mason, TRW Automotive, Pfizer, and Jacobs. Industrials Jacobs and Cummins are following Caterpillar's comments previously about slowing overseas growth. Industrial, Conoco Phillips split into two companies, Conoco and Phillips 66. Conoco is up 3% while Phillips 66 is modestly lower. At 10 o'clock better than expected construction and manufacturing data sent the averages surging higher. The Dow jumped 75 points while the Nasdaq rose over 20 points. Through the morning the averages kept pushing higher as the bulls are in charge. Companies that traded higher following earnings this morning are pushing higher. Archer Daniels, Sears, Huntsman, Genesee Wyoming, and Fresh Del Monte are up over 6% thanks to better than expected earnings. Chesapeake Energy is jumping 8% as their CEO will relieve his duties as Chairman. Akamai and Hess are higher on insider buying. Pf Chang is jumping 30% on a private equity takeover offer. By the lunch hour the Dow was at a new high for the year as eight components are trading at new 52 week highs. The Nasdaq is up 36 points or 1.2%. Don't sell in May just yet. In the afternoon the averages moved sideways pulling back modestly. By midafternoon, Apple sold off falling back to the unchanged level dragging the Nasdaq down 15 points off its high. The Dow remains firm. In the last hour the Dow drifted a little further from its' high along with the Nasdaq. The weakness is coming from Apple, techs, and a couple industrials like Cummins. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 65 points at 13,279. The S&P 500 added 7 points to 1,405. The Nasdaq Composite gained 4 points to 3,050.
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