U.S. stocks quickly erased opening gains Thursday as better-than-expected results from Wal-Mart Stores and others failed to assuage investors worried about the ongoing crisis in Europe. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 18 points to 12,579. The S&P 500 Index shed nearly 2 points to 1,322. The Nasdaq Composite declined 5 points to 2,868. Investors are getting very cautious among the markets. Very few bulls left. One sector that continues to hold up is technology. Google keeps pushing higher up another half a percent today while Apple can't seem to catch a bid. Netease.com is jumping 7% on earnings. Dell is higher on an upgrade while Chinese firm, Dangdang is down 9% on earnings. The retail space is also holding up well. Walmart is the diamond in the Dow up 4% on earnings. Buckle is jumping 6% on earnings while Children's Place is higher by 4% on earnings. Sears is higher by 10% on earnings although Sears is a very volatile stock. To the downside, Dollar Tree, Gamestop, and Advance Auto Parts are all lower by more than 4%. Tiffany upped their dividend, but the stock is modestly lower. Outside the techs and retail, the other sectors are succumbing to selling pressure. Financials had held up well of late, but are selling off since the JP Morgan bad hedge fiasco. JP Morgan is down another 3% as their trading lower grows. Visa is lower on a downgrade. The materials and industrials keep going lower. Caterpillar is down 2% after disclosing their dealer stats. Deere is down another 2% today following earnings yesterday. After the first half an hour, a weak manufacturing number sent the averages lower. The Dow dropped 79 points while the Nasdaq declined 23 points before rebounding. The volatility is back. Through the morning into the afternoon the averages remain in the red. The Nasdaq is weak thanks to a 2% drop in Apple. The Dow is getting hit by a number of industrials like Caterpillar, Boeing, and United Technologies. Surprisingly, the energy stocks have been holding up today. Gold is performing well as well. In the last hour the averages accelerated to the downside. The bulls are in hiding. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished lower for an 11th out of 12 sessions, declining156 points, or 1.2%, to 12,442. The S&P 500 shed 19 points, or 1.5% to 1,304, a four-month low. The Nasdaq Composite fell 60 points, or 2.1%, to 2,813.
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