U.S. stocks on Wednesday opened flat to mostly lower, with investors contending with gloomy earnings and economic data while grasping at opting to focus on hopes for fiscal stimulus from Washington. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 20 points to 8,058. Disney is down 5% after missing estimates. The newest Dow component, Kraft is down 9% after missing estimates. Being a Dow component is now the kiss of death. The S&P 500 rose fractionally to 838 while the Nasdaq Composite fell nearly a point to 1,515. After the open, the averages pushed higher. Even the financials are up except for Bank of America which can't get out of its own way. Lazard reported profits down dramatically yet the stock is up 11%. Suntrust is up 7% on an upgrade. Wells Fargo is up 4% after calling off a company trip to Las Vegas. Metlife is up 4% on solid earnings. After the first hour the averages still looked good. The Dow was up 65 points. The Nasdaq rose 28 points. In the retail sector Polo, Sara Lee, and Costco are lower on bad earnings and disappointing guidance. Ryder is down 3% as profits shrink. Even a defensive play like Philip Morris is down 3.6% after lowering guidance.
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