U.S. stocks advanced at Wednesday's start, following a strong rally overseas. In the U.S., the commodity-related shares are fronting the gains as oil hit seven-month highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 69 points to 8,832. The S&P 500 Index gained 5 points to 948, while the Nasdaq Composite added 10 points to 1,870. Within the Dow, Home Depot is modestly higher after hiking their forecast. AnnTaylor is up 2% on positive comments from Friedman Billings Ramsey. The rest of the retail sector is quiet. The financials are quiet. Citigroup is modestly higher after finalizing their agreement with the U.S. government. The insurance stocks are modestly higher. Metlife is up 2% even though they made cautious comements on commercial mortgages. The techs opened higher, but then retreated. Research in Motion, Yahoo, and First Solar were all upgraded. All three opened higher, but only Research in Motion remains in the green. The commodities are performing well. U.S. Steel is up 3% on an upgrade. After the first half an hour, the Dow remains modestly higher. The Nasdaq is lower by 10 points. Through the morning, the averages remained quiet near the unchanged level. It has been a quiet week. In the afternoon, a round of selling sent the Dow down over 100 points. The Nasdaq declined 30 points. A number of financials are succumbing to profit-taking. In the last hour, the averages started to recover, similar to the last couple of days. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 24 points at 8,739. The S&P 500 Index shed 3 points to 939, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 7 points to 1,853.
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