U.S. stocks open modestly higher as the earnings were not as bad this morning. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 50 points to 7,987. Dow component, Merck is up 2.5% on earnings. The S&P 500 advanced 5 points to 830 while the Nasdaq Composite added 6 points to 1,500. Plenty of earnings this morning. A number of companies are trading higher on earnings including Northrop Grumman, Cummins, UPS, Aflac, ADP, DR Horton, Avon, Schering Plough, and Tyco. The techs quickly turned south after the open. Sandisk is down 22% on disappointing earnings. Motorola is down 14% on bad earnings. Cisco System was upgraded this morning ahead of earnings tomorrow, but the stock is lower. After the first hour, all three averages were in the red. Regional bank, PNC Financial is down 14% after missing estimates by a wide margin. Bank of America is down once again and GE touched it's 52 week low. After the first hour, the averages moved back into the green except for the big banks. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages clung to positive territory, but the financials are weak. Wells Fargo is down 5% on heavy put volume. In the middle of the afternoon a rally kicked in, but not for the financials. The regional banks like PNC, Suntrust, US Bancorp, Keycorp, and M&T Bank are all getting hit. In the last hour, more of the same. The Dow held strong with triple digit gains. The financials are getting no bounce. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 141 points at 8,078. The S&P 500 added 13 points to end at 838 while the Nasdaq Composite rose 21 points, or 1.5%, to 1,516.
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