U.S. stocks held near steady Tuesday after opening slightly higher on thinking China and Europe might move to stimulate global economic growth. The Dow Jones Industrial Average erased gains to fall 15 points to 12,489. The S&P 500 added more than a point to 1,317. The Nasdaq Composite fell a point to 2,845. Initial weakness didn't last. Better than expected housing numbers sent the averages higher. The financials for once are performing well. JP Morgan is up 6% as executives go in front of Congress today to explain their trading plunder. Visa is up 2% on an upgrade. PNC is higher as well on an upgrade. Blackstone is jumping 4% as they agree to acquire Motel 6 from a French investment company. Moody's is up 2% even though they were downgraded. In the retail sector things are mixed. DSW is jumping 10% on earnings while Express is down 25% on earnings. William Sonoma, AutoZone, Urban Outfitter, and Polo are higher following earnings. Cracker Barrel is lower on earnings. Best Buy is higher after reaffirming earnings. Gap and Aeropostale are higher on upgrades. After the first hour the averages remained strong with the Dow up 60 points. Walmart is at a new 52 week high while AT&T and Verizon trade just under their all-time highs. The Nasdaq rising 15 points. Most sectors are performing well. Techs are lagging following the Nasdaq's best one day rally yesterday. Facebook is down another 3% today. Intel, IBM, Google, and Microsoft are modestly lower while Apple is up another 1% following yesterday's 5% rally. Apple is back. During the lunch hour the averages dipped led by materials and the energy space. The dog of the day goes to Patriot Coal down now 45% on concerns of a pending bankruptcy. Patriot Coal is dragging down all the coal stocks. After the lunch hour the averages bounced back although the Nasdaq is only up 6 points. Google is down 2% on rumors of improper business practices. The energy and materials remain weak. In the last hour, the former Greek Prime Minister made comments that Greece leaving the Euro is a real possibility. That caused the Euro to sell off, the US dollar jumped and the major averages did a 180. The Nasdaq was first to push into the red as even Apple sold off. The Dow went from up 50 to down 50 points in less than an hour. All because of a change in the currency. The Dow Jones Industrial Average recovered into the close finishing down 2 points to close at 12,502. The S&P 500 inched up a point to 1,316. The Nasdaq Composite declined 8 points to 2,839.
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