U.S. stocks opened lower on Thursday, while the dollar rallied after the president of the European Central Bank said downside risks to the euro-area growth outlook have materialized. The news seemed to overshadow positive U.S. economic data out earlier this morning. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 72 points to 12,871. The S&P 500 index fell 6 points to 1,368 while the Nasdaq Composite declined 6 points to 2,969. A quiet day for news. The retail sector is mixed after reporting June same store sales. Target is down a percent after missing their mark. Disney and Amazon are lower as well while Walmart is modestly higher at a new all-time high. Macys is higher by a percent after reaffirming numbers. Nordstrom, TJX, and Ross Stores are higher following strong sales. At least someone is doing well. The rest of the sectors are struggling this morning. In the tech space, Google and Apple are higher, but the rest of the sector is lower. EMC is down 2% on an analyst downgrade. AMD is lower by 3% on a downgrade. AOL is lower even though it was upgraded. The financials are lower following weakness in Europe. After the first half an hour the averages pushed lower on weak economic numbers. Even the defensive sectors like utilities and healthcare are under pressure. Sanofi Aventis is lower by 3% after announcing layoffs in France. The European community can't catch a break. After the first hour the Dow had fallen 70 points with the Nasdaq declining just 10 points. The European markets have pushed lower. Through the morning the averages battled back led by Google and Apple in the Nasdaq and Disney and Walmart within the Dow. In the afternoon the Nasdaq moved into the green thanks to 2% rallies in Apple and Google. The Dow is slowly moving back to the unchanged level, but volume remains light. Entering the last hour the Dow snuck into the green only to sell back off in the last hour. I guess some investors are nervous ahead of tomorrow's monthly employment number. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 47 points at 12,896, in a session that saw the index down as much as 92 points before briefly trading in positive territory, only to give up those gains once again. The S&P 500 Index fell 6 points to close at 1,367, with financial and energy stocks as the poorest performers. The Nasdaq Composite Index barely finished higher, up 4 cents to close at 2,976.
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