U.S. stocks on Friday opened sharply lower, scaling back the week's large advance, after the government reported personal spending rose last month but personal income declined. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 100 points to 7,824. The S&P 500 Index shed 11 points to 820 while the Nasdaq Composite declined 24 points to 1,562. Most stocks and sectors are trading lower. Financials are witnessing more profit-taking even as Goldman and Morgan Stanley receive upgrades. President Obama is expected to meet with the top bank CEOs some time today. KB Homes is trading down 5% on earnings. The company had sobering news for the housing market including no up tick in business before the end of the year. The retailers are lower following a good run up. Christopher & Bank is down 25% following a big quarterly loss. Best Buy was removed from Goldman's buy list after a 30% surge in the last week. JC Penney is bucking the trend following an upgrade. Finish Line is up 10% after beating estimates. After one day in the green for the year, the tech-laden Nasdaq is back in the red. Google is lower after laying off 200 employees. IBM is down 4% following lay offs earlier in the week. Amazon is down 3% after shutting down three distribution centers. Intel is down 3% even though it was upgraded. After the first hour, the Dow fell 150 points. The Nasdaq declined 32 points. Even the commodities are lower. Agrium is sweetening its deal to buy CF Industries. Through the morning the averages remained weak. A few financials have rebounded including names like Bank of America, GE, and Barclays. KB Homes has had a nice rebound rallying 9% off it's lows. In the afternoon, the selling reaccelerated. Wether he wanted to or not, JP Morgan CEO indicated that March was tougher than January and February causing the financials to tick lower. Thanks. Even with the sell off, U.S. stocks, as measured by the broad Standard & Poor's 500 index, were on track for their best monthly gain since 1987. The S&P 500 remained up 11.2% month to date, giving it the best monthly gain so far since a 13.2% gain in January of 1987. As of Thursday's close, the S&P was on track for its best monthly gain since 1974 and also its best 13-day run since July 1938, with a 23% gain. Wow. In the last hour, more selling. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 148 points, or 1.9%, at 7,776, leaving it 6.8% higher for the week. The S&P 500 Index fell 16 points, or 2%, to 815, for a weekly gain of 6.2%. The Nasdaq Composite shed 41 points, or 2.6%, to close at 1,545. The technology-laden index jumped 6% on the week.
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