U.S. stocks open higher once again as all eyes are on the government stimulus programs and what will happen to the financials. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 105 points to 8,280. Boeing is up after losing money in the fourth quarter while AT&T is down even though they keep making money. The S&P 500 gained 15 points to 861 while the Nasdaq Composite rose 28 points to 1,532. Congress inches closer to a vote on a $825 billion stimulus plan, but more importantly, the government is warming to a bad bank proposal run by the FDIC to get the bad assets off the troubled banks. All the financials and insurance stocks are jumping on this news. Wells Fargo is up 16% due to earnings that were not as bad as investors feared. Franklin Resources is up 2% on earnings. Legg Mason is down 8% after losing $1.4 billion. One financial or REIT down sharply is Allied Capital on concerns the company is running out of money. Outside the financials, the earnings keep flooding in. In the tech sector, Yahoo, Altera, and Sun Micro are higher on earnings. Gilead Sciences is up 3% on earnings. Tyco Electronics is down 9% after reporting a quarterly loss. Wellpoint is up 5% even though profits dropped 61%. After the first hour the averages remained strong led by the financials. I haven't been able to say that in a while. Through the morning and into the afternoon, the averages remained strong near the highs of the day. The Fed, which no one was talking about, left rates unchanged. The averages didn't budge. No volatility today. In the last hour the averages held their gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 201 points, or 2.5%, at 8,375. The S&P 500 rallied for a fourth straight day climbing 28 points, or 3.4%, to 874. The Nasdaq Composite added 53 points, or 3.6%, to finish at 1,558.
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