After hitting a near four-week high in the prior session, the averages are succumbing to profit-taking. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 69 points to 7,326. The S&P 500 fell 7 points to 770 while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 7 points to 1,454. The selling today is broad based. Even the defensive names like General Mills aren't immune to the economic weakness. General Mills is down 10% to new lows after missing estimates by 9 cents. Most of the financials are lower except for a select few. Bank of America is higher on comments from the CEO indicating they hope to pay back the TARP money by the end of the year or early next year. A bold statement. Hopefully it pans out. Citigroup is also higher by 10%. Morgan Stanley is down 6% on a downgrade and Fulton Financial is lower by 7% after slashing their dividend. The insurance stocks are modestly higher. Metlife is up 6% following a presentation indicating that their capital cushion is sound. In the tech sector, rumors are circling that IBM will buy SunMicrosystem. Sun is jumping 65% while IBM is down 2.5%. EMC is up 2% on an upgrade. Adobe is up 7% on solid earnings. In the retail sector, Guess jeans is up 7% on in line earnings. Darden Restaurants is jumping 15% on blow out earnings. I guess people are still eating out. After the first hour, the Dow pushed lower by 125 points. The Nasdaq declined by 11 points.
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