Stocks opened lower Monday, with investors waiting on details of the bank rescue and seizing on a delay on the vote of the economic stimulus plan to take profits from last week's strong gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 46 points to 8,234. The S&P 500 index declined 4 points to 864 while the Nasdaq Composite fell 10 points to 1,581. The financials are modestly higher. The sector is in wait and see mode. The Treasury postponed their bank rescue plan until tomorrow. The insurance stocks are rebounding on optimism the sector will get included in the TARP program. Hartford is up 21% after getting clobbered on Friday. Barrons defended the company over the weekend. The commodities continue to perform well. Oils, fertilizers, and steels look good. The techs are trying to rally. Apple and Corning are higher on upgrades. Internet stocks, Google and Baidu are higher as well. Loews and their subsidiaries (Lorillard, Boardwalk Pipelines, and CNA Financial) all reported earnings this morning. Lorillard is the winner up 4%. Other companies reporting earnings include Big Lots, Hewitt Associates, and Hasbro. All three are up 7%. After the first hour the averages clawed back toward the unchanged level. Unitedhealth Group is higher on a positive article on Barrons. Through the morning the averages didn't waiver far from the unchanged level. In the afternoon, the averages dipped into the red, but the financials, commodities, and insurance stocks still look good. In the last hour the averages started in the red, then rallied back to the unchanged level. A whole bunch of nothing. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 9 points at 8,270. The S&P 500 index rose a point to 869, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 15 cents to 1,591.
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