U.S. stocks wobbled lower Thursday with concern about Europe overtaking cheer that came with domestic data, which had a better-than-expected report on the labor front. The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 9 points to 12,258. The S&P 500 Index fell a point to 1,401. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 5 points to 3,054. A couple of stocks are trading higher on earnings. Transocean is higher by 3% on earnings although the rest of the energy space is lower. Energy has really gotten hit by the slowing growth in Europe and Asia. Apache is down 3% on earnings. El Paso and Ensco are lower as well on earnings. Hess is lower on a downgrade. The most volatile energy stock of late, Chesapeake is higher by 2% on an upgrade. The financials are lower following European weakness. Visa is down 3% on earnings. MasterCard was upgraded, but the stock is lower. A number of insurance stocks are lower following earnings including Prudential, Lincoln National, and Hartford. Prudential is down 8%. Allstate is the lone standout up 4% on earnings. In the tech space Atmel is down 10% on earnings. Symantec is lower as well on earnings while Salesforce.com is up 2% on an upgrade. The big cap techs look good. Intel is higher even though it went ex-dividend. Apple and Google are also modestly higher. At 10 o'clock a weaker than expected manufacturing number sent the averages into the red. The retailers are in the red following same store sales numbers. Macys and Aeropostale are lower by more than 2%. Boston Beer is down 2% on earnings. Whole Foods is jumping 6% on earnings while the dogs of the day are Green Mountain Coffee, down 41% and Weight Watchers, down 15% on earnings. Other companies trading lower this morning on earnings include GM, Hyatt Hotel, and CIGNA. Following the first hour the Dow dropped 50 points while the Nasdaq declined 16 points. After the first hour the averages recovered with the Nasdaq moving into the green and the Dow clawing back to the unchanged level. In the afternoon the averages dropped back off. The Dow declined 50 points while the Nasdaq declined 30 points. The techs, energy, materials, and industrials are leading the weakness. Investors seem to be getting nervous about tomorrow's monthly unemployment data. By the middle of the afternoon the Dow dropped again, falling 90 points while the Nasdaq dropped 40 points. In the last hour the averages clawed back once again awaiting tomorrow's nonfarm payrolls report. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 62 points at 13,206, led by a 3.1% drop in Hewlett-Packard. The S&P 500 fell 10 points to 1,391, led by a 10% drop in Prudential Financial. The Nasdaq Composite lost 35 points, or 1.2%, to 3,024.
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