U.S. stocks open modestly higher, continuing gains into a fourth session straight, even though investors found little to cheer about regarding the March unemployment report, other than it was not as grim as expected. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 18 points to 7,996. The S&P 500 Index rose a point to 836 while the Nasdaq Composite climbed a point to 1,604. Not much news other than the economic data. Research in Motion is jumping 20% after easily beating estimates, then raising guidance. Rimm's good news is helping their suppliers and competitors. Other than that, not much is working. The economy lost 663,000 jobs last month while unemployment jumped to 8.5%, the highest level since 1983. That's not good, but we expected bad news. After the open, the averages slipped into the red. The financials are trading sideways which is actually a good thing. Disney, Nokia, and Whole Foods are lower on downgrades. Monsanto is down 4.5% on a downgrade. After the first hour, the Dow was down 40 points. The Nasdaq dropped 4 points. So far a quiet morning. Entering the lunch hour, the averages tried to recover with the techs leading the way. In the afternoon, many of the techs and the Nasdaq moved in the green. The financials remain unchanged and the Dow is modestly lower. Entering the last hour, all the major averages were in the green and remained in the green. Another good week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 39 points, or 0.5%, to end at 8,017, for a weekly advance of 3.1%. The S&P 500 Index rose 8 points, or 1%, to settle at 842, up 3.3% for the week. The Nasdaq Composite gained 19 points, or 1.2%, to close at 1,621, a weekly advance of 5%. Not bad.
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