U.S. stocks opened higher on Thursday, after a report that orders for big-ticket items jumped in April, boosting hopes for an economic recovery. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 63 points to 8,363. Shares of General Motors are up 13% on a new deal for bondholders. The S&P 500 index rose 8.3 points to 901, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 17 points to 1,749. The averages are higher, but there are plenty of stocks in the red. In the retail space Big Lots, DSW, Coldwater Creek, Heinz, and Costco are all lower following earnings. American Eagle, Chicos, and Aeropostale are lower even though all three were upgraded. Sanderson Farms is jumping 6% after easily beating earnings estimates. In the financial sector, interest rates and mortgage rates had a big jump yesterday. Not exactly good news. Only a few financials are higher. First Niagara is higher after agreeing to pay back government TARP money. In the tech sector, Corning raised LCD volume for the second quarter, yet the stock is lower by 4.5%. IBM and Research in Motion are two techs trading modestly higher. After the first half an hour, the averages dropped into the red on dismal housing numbers. Through the morning the averages rebounded into the green including the financials. That's a good sign. During the lunch hour, the averages sold off, then rallied once again. Entering the last hour, the Dow was up 100 points. The Nasdaq rose 25 points. In the last hour, the averages held firm. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 104 points, or 1.3%, to 8,404. The S&P 500 gained 14 points, or 1.5%, to close at 906. The Nasdaq Composite rose 21 points, or 1.2%, to 1,752.
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