U.S. stocks started slightly higher on Wednesday, with equities drawing a slight lift by an International Monetary Fund report that hiked its outlook for global economic growth in 2010. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 27 points to 8,191. The S&P 500 Index advanced 3 points to 884, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 11 points to 1,757. Quiet market for most stocks. Amgen is a big winner, jumping 15% on positive phase three trials for a breast cancer drug. One brokerage firm upgraded the stock with a $66 price target. In the retail space, Family Dollar is up 10% on better than expected earnings. Tractor Supply is up 9% after raising 2009 earnings forecasts. Dreamworks is unchanged on an upgrade. Skechers is lower after having their earnings estimates lowered. In the tech sector, Google is modestly higher on news the company is working on a operating system to compete with Microsoft, at least on the low end with netbooks. SAP and LSI Logic are higher on an upgrades. Research in Motion is lower on an upgrade. The financials are quiet. M&T Bank is up a percent on an upgrade. GE is lower by 2% on negative comments from a small research firm. After the first half an hour, the averages remained in the green not far from where they opened. Through the morning the averages gave up the gains. A lack of buyers once again. In the afternoon, the averages recovered a little on a good Treasury auction. No real buyers around. In the last hour, the averages clawed their way back to the unchanged level. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 14 points at 8,178. The S&P 500 Index fell a point to 879, while the Nasdaq Composite added a point to end at 1,747.
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