U.S. stocks marched higher at Thursday's start, with sentiment bolstered by another batch of better-than-expected economic data and agreeable April sales results from a number of retailers, including Walmart. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 63 points to 8,575. Walmart is up over 2%. The S&P 500 climbed 9 points to 929 while the Nasdaq Composite rose 11 points to 1,770. The retailers are performing well. Kohls, Target, and Gap are up over 4% or more. The financials are jumping ahead of the stress tests results tonight. Bank of America is up 15% on an upgrade from Morgan Stanley. Goldman Sach upgraded virtually the whole financial sector. Fifth Third, Capital One, and Genworth are all up over 17% thanks to positive comments from Goldman. Prudential is soaring 20% on better than expected earnings. Barclays is one of the few financials trading lower on earnings. The commodities are acting well. Rowan is up 6% on earnings. Goldcorp is up 4% after beating estimates by 10 cents. The oil stocks look great. The techs are struggling. Cisco Systems and Symantec are both lower even though both beat earnings estimates last night. Very few techs are higher. After the first half an hour, the rally fizzled with the major averages giving up all their gains. Most of the financials and the commodities remain in the green. Other companies reporting earnings this morning include Cablevision, Wendys/Arbys, Sirius XM, and Sara Lee. Sirius and Wendys are lower. Cablevision is up by 14%. The company is considering selling or spinning off the Madison Square Garden. Through the morning the averages remained in the red. In the afternoon, more of the same. The Dow dropped 100 points. Fewer and fewer stocks remained in the red. The commodities sold off. Fewer and fewer financials are in the green. In the last hour, no major rebound. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 102 points at 8,409. The S&P 500 declined 12 points to 907, while the Nasdaq Composite shed 42 points, or 2.4%, to 1,716.
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