U.S. stocks started lower on Wednesday as investors fretted about the labor market, the economy, and a couple key companies lowering guidance. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 60 points to 8,680. The S&P 500 shed 9 points to 934. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 14 points to 1,822. Aetna is lower by 7% after lowering guidance last night. All the healthcare stocks are trading lower. Valero is the other disappointing company to lower guidance last night. The stock is down 16%. Most of the commodities are lower due to a rebound in the U.S. dollar. Not many stocks are in the green. Google is modestly higher on an upgrade from Goldman Sachs. Microsoft is modestly higher after announcing Windows 7 will be available earlier than expected. Apple is higher on a upgrade. Either Research in Motion or Apple are upgraded every day. Amazon is lower even though it was upgraded. Ebay is flat on an upgrade. Intel is lower even though they expect a solid second quarter. Vmware is lower by 3% on a downgrade. The financials are modestly lower. Prudential is lower by 2% on a secondary offering. Oppenheimer is out cautious on the regional banks. In the retail space, Walmart and Home Depot are higher on upgrades. William Sonoma is lower by 7% even though they beat estimates this morning. After the first half an hour, the Dow dropped 90 points. The Nasdaq declined 17 points. Through the morning the averages remained weak near the lows of the day. The commodities and high flying techs are the weakest sectors. In the afternoon, the averages made new lows. Aetna has recovered from its' heavy sell off in the morning while Valero remains weak near the lows of the day. In the last hour, the Dow dropped 142 points before recovering into the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 64 points at 8,676. The S&P 500 Index dropped 12 points to finish at 931 while the Nasdaq Composite declined 10 points to 1,825.
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