U.S. stocks opened sharply higher Friday as investors looked to a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and more definitive action from the European Central Bank next week. "We'll see how many investors still expect something from the Fed. Clearly things are not good here, but they're not bad. In Europe, things are worse. There is a more realistic hope the ECB will intervene," said Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 101 points to 13,101. The S&P 500 index added 8 points to 1,408. The Nasdaq Composite gained 22 points to 3,070. Very little news ahead of the Fed speech, but it looks like investors are anticipating something good. The big cap techs look good although Apple is quiet. Corning is higher by 3% on an upgrade while Facebook is down 3% on a downgrade. The financials overseas are performing well caring over to our markets. Credit Suisse is higher by 4% on an upgrade. Toronto Dominion is higher even though it was downgraded. The energy, materials, and industrials look good while the utilities and telecom are flat. It's a risk on day. Through the first half an hour a weaker PMI followed by a stronger consumer confidence number did little to budge the markets. The Fed Chairman's speech was released at 10 o'clock with no indication of any QE3 stimulus. The averages initially gave up most of its gains only to slowly regain most of the rally. Heading into the lunch hour, the averages pulled back once again as the Euro sold off causing the Dollar to rebound, but the currencies reversed course in the afternoon allowing the Dow to rally triple digits once again. Only a few stocks are in the red. Facebook is lower by 5% to new lows. A recent star, Phillips 66 is lower by 2.3%, but that's about it for the blue chips. Only two Dow components are in the red and only by a couple cents each. In the last hour the averages were able to hold on to gains to finish out the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 90 points to 13,090, giving it a 0.6% August gain and a 0.5% decline on the week. The S&P 500 index climbed 7 points to 1,406, rising 2% for the month and down 0.3% for the week. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 18 points, or 0.6%, to 3,066, up 4.3% for the month and off 0.1% for the week. Three great months in a row to finish out a great summer.
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