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It's Friday the 13th. Stocks open lower on light volume ahead of a long holiday weekend. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 18 points to 7,913. The S&P 500 fell 3 points to 831. The Nasdaq Composite shed 5 points to 1,536. The financials are leading the markets lower. The British bank, Lloyds is down 30% after reporting a $12.3 billion loss. Bank of America is lower on a downgraded. BB&T is down 4% on concerns of a dividend cut. RBC made positive comments on Wells Fargo, but the stock is down 6%. The techs are mixed this morning. Rackable Systems and McAfee are higher on upgrades. Palm and Texas Instruments are higher on upgrades. Palm is up over 300% since November. Not bad. Apple was upgraded, however, the stock is lower. Netgear is down 2% after missing estimates by 15 cents. Research in Motion is down 3% on a downgrade. Other companies reporting earnings include Wyndam, Cheesecake Factory, and California Pizza. Wyndam and Cheesecake are both down over 9%. In the retail space, Abercrombie & Fitch is jumping 9% even though sales and profits declined. Microsoft is trading higher on news the company is entering the retail business. After the first half an hour, the Nasdaq moved back into the green. After the first hour, all the major averages were modestly in the green. Entering the lunch hour the Dow fell back in the red led by the financials. In the afternoon, the government announced President Obama would lay out a plan on Wednesday to mitigate foreclosures. Then the House voted to pass the stimulus package. Neither item did little to stimulate the markets entering the last hour. In fact, the averages sold off heading into the close. Oh boy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 82 points to 7,850, giving the blue-chip index a weekly drop of 5.2%. The S&P 500 fell 8 points to 826, dropping 4.8% on the week. The Nasdaq Composite shed 7 points to 1,534 and declined 3.6% on the week.
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