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U.S. stocks extend their gains following one of the best individual days in years. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 70 points to 6,996 actually hitting 7,000 before pulling back. The S&P 500 rose 10 points to 730, while the Nasdaq Composite added to 17 points to 1,376. The financials look good once again. Citigroup is up 60% in the last three days. Goldman Sachs upgraded Morgan Stanley and US Bancorp and recommended a number of banks capable of paying back their TARP money. American Express is one of the few financials lower on a downgrade. Plenty of earnings from the retail sector including names like J. Crew, American Eagle, Staples, Macys, Vail Resorts, and Bon-Ton. Only Staples is lower. Big Lots, Tyson Foods, Wendys, and Cheesecake Factory are higher following upgrades. The tech sector and commodities are performing well. Google had their numbers cut, yet the stock is trading higher. After the first hour, the Dow remained up 70 points. The Nasday moved higher, up 26 points. So far so good. Through the morning and into the afternoon the rally fizzled. Dow components GE, Bank of America, American Express, and McDonalds all fell into the red. The insurance stocks are lower. Coventry Health is higher following an upgrade, but Cardinal Health, Unitedhealth Group, and Aetna are lower. In the last hour, the averages rallied, then tried to hold on to the gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 3 points at 6,930. The S&P 500 Index inched up a point to 721, while the Nasdaq Composite added 13 points to 1,371.
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