It's May Day. U.S. stocks sputter at the start of this new month following April's stellar performance. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 11 points to 8,156. The S&P 500 declined fractionally to 872 while the Nasdaq Composite opened flat at 1,717. The earnings keep flooding in. Insurers, Metlife and Hartford are lower as both reported quarterly losses. Both are down over 5%. The financials are modestly lower. JP Morgan cut estimates on a number of large cap banks, Dick Bove made cautious comments on mid-sized banks, and Mastercard's quarterly sales missed estimates. Mastercard is down 6%. Citigroup is modestly higher after selling a Japanese division for $7.9 billion. Other companies reporting earnings include Washington Post, Clorox, Chevron, and Dean Foods. All four are lower. Washington Post is down 15% after reporting a quarterly loss. The large newspaper companies can't make money anymore. A few companies are trading higher following earnings including Fortune Brands, Suncor, Callaway, and McAfee. In the tech sector, Research in Motion is up 3% on an upgrade. After the first hour, the Dow was down 40 points. The Nasdaq declined 9 points. Many of the financials turnaround, moving modestly into the green. The commodities are performing well. Through the morning the averages improved. In the afternonn, the averages moved into the green. One thing is for sure, volatility is down dramatically in the last month. In the last hour, the Dow sold off by 40 points only to recover into the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 44 points at 8,212, leaving the blue chips up 1.7% for the week. The S&P 500 Index ended at 877, up 4.71 points, or 0.5%, which translates into a weekly climb of 1.3%. The Nasdaq Composite added a point to end at 1,719, giving it a 1.5% rise from last Friday's close.
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