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U.S. stocks started higher on Thursday, furthering the prior session's gains, after retailer Best Buy reported better than expected profits. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 71 points to 7,821. The S&P 500 Index added 8 points to 822, while the technology-laden Nasdaq Composite rose 21 points to 1,550. A good day for the retailers. Best Buy is jumping 13% after raising guidance. Citi Trends is jumping 26% on earnings. Gamestop and ConAgra are up 3% on earnings. Dr. Pepper/Snapple is up 6% even though the company lost $621 million in the quarter. Marvel Entertainment and Dreamworks are higher on positive analyst comments. The big cap techs are acting well. Google is up 3% following two upgrades. Symantec is up 2% on an upgrade and Redhat is up 14% after beating estimates. The financials opened higher, but then sold off. Blackrock is down 2% thanks to a downgrade. Paychex is up 3% on in line earnings. The commodities are performing well. Oil keeps pushing higher. Valero is up 4% on a positive piece from Barrons Online. Gold and Goldcorp are higher. After the first hour, the rally started to fizzle. The financials moved into the red. Through the morning a few buyers stepped in to keep the averages in the green, not far from where they started. In the afternoon, the averages push to new highs thanks to a Treasury auction that went better than yesterday. The Dow jumped nearly 200 points before pulling back. The Nasdaq rose 50 points, moving into positive territory for the year. Wow. Entering the last hour, the averages started to pull back, but then rallied into the close for a second straight day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 174 points, or 2.3%, at 7,924. The S&P 500 Index gained 18 points, or 2.3%, closing at 832, while the Nasdaq Composite climbed 58 points, or 3.8%, to stand at 1,587, putting it in positive territory for the year.
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