U.S. stocks opened higher Wednesday after a two-day string of losses. Investors are finding some comfort that a lot of the bad news regarding the economy and the banks has been priced in. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 64 points to 8,080. The S&P 500 Index climbed 7 points to 862, while the technology-laden Nasdaq Composite rose 16 points to stand at 1,690. Bank of America is higher, along with most of the financials, ahead of their annual shareholder meeting. CEO Ken Lewis seems to have the votes to keep his job, but may lose his Chairman position. That's a win for Ken Lewis. Etrade is down 30% after missing estimates by a wide margin. Plenty of earnings are flooding in, most look pretty good. Dreamworks and Wyndam Resorts are both jumping 23% on earnings. Hess, Time Warner, and Baker Hughes are up 7% on earnings. Waste Management, Burger King, Qwest, and Reynolds America are all higher thanks to earnings. Goodyear, Panera Bread, Buffalo Wild Wing, and Arcelor Mittal are lower on earnings. After the first half an hour, the Dow jumped over 100 points. The Nasdaq rose 24 points. So far so good. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages remained strong with the Dow surging nearly 200 points. The Nasdaq rose 45 points. ExxonMobil is the second Dow component in as many days to raise their dividend. That's good. In the middle of the afternoon, the Fed made a statement to leave rates unchanged with some encouraging comments that the economy is nearing a bottom. The averages had little reaction at first, then shot higher. In the last hour, the averages sold off, then rebounded into the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 168 points or 2.1% at 8,185. The S&P 500 Index added 18 points, or 2.2%, to close at 873, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 38 points, or 2.3%, to 1,711.
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