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U.S. stocks began Wednesday with mild losses, with the S&P 500 flirting with a fifth down session, as Wall Street looked to minutes from last month's Federal Reserve meeting for hints of more stimulus. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 26 points to 12,626. The S&P 500 fell half a point to 1,340. The Nasdaq Composite declined 8 points to 2,893. A quiet start to the day following a sharp sell off on Cummins Engines preannouncement. Cummins is down 2%, but the rest of the sector is trying to rebound. The energy space is also performing well thanks to a rebound in the price of oil. Gold is unchanged, but Goldcorp is lower after cutting production. Chevron is higher even as one analyst cut earnings estimates. The defensive sectors are also performing well. Wisconsin Energy is unchanged after reaffirming guidance. The weakest sector which isn't very weak is technology. Apple and Google are lower even as both received positive analyst comments. Apple was upgraded with a $740 price target. SAP is bucking the trend up 3% on an upgrade. EMC is modestly higher on an upgrade. The retail space is mixed this morning. An electronic retailer, hhgregg is down 35% after warnings about earnings for the rest of the year. Rival, Best Buy is down 5% as well. Sears is also lower. Wendy's is higher on an upgrade. One analyst raised earnings for retailer, VF Corp however the stock is modestly lower. Through the first hour and the rest of the morning the averages remain in the red, but not by much. Apple and Google are keeping the Nasdaq in the red. The financials and the energy space are in the green. The rest of the sectors are mixed and quiet ahead of the Fed minutes. In the afternoon the Fed minutes made no mention of QE3 causing the major averages to sell off. Heading into the last hour the Dow fell 100 points as the Nasdaq declined 30 points. Financials, energy, and utilities remain the only sectors in the green. In the last hour the averages had a nice turnaround with the Dow and Nasdaq recovering a lot of the losses getting back to where we were before the Fed minutes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 48 points at 12,604. The S&P 500 edged fractionally lower to 1,341. Both the Dow and the S&P 500 ended in the red for a fifth session. Off for a fourth session, the Nasdaq Composite slid 14 points to 2,887.
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