U.S. stocks open modestly higher following disappointing data showing jobless claims unexpectedly rose this last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 11 points to 9,290. The S&P 500 Index rose 2 points to 999 while Nasdaq Composite added 6 points to 1,976. The retailers are in focus with plenty of earnings. Harman, Dicks, Heinz, Hormel Foods, Ross Stores, Gymboree, and Bon-Ton are all higher thanks to earnings. Bon-Ton is up 28%. Petsmart, GameStop, Childrens Place, and Sears are lower following earnings. Sears is down 12% after missing estimates by 52 cents. The financials are performing well. Citigroup keeps pushing higher as more investors warm up to the stock. In the tech sector Network Appliance is down 4% following earnings. The popular tech names are all higher. Google is jumping 3% on a bullish upgrade over at Goldman Sachs. After the first half an hour the averages remain in the green, but not by much. Through the morning the averages inched higher. The financials are improving and most of the retailers remain strong. In the afternoon more of the same. The troubled financials like Citigroup, AIG, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac are performing great. In the last hour no sell off. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 70 points at 9,350. The S&P 500 Index added 10 points to 1,007, bringing it above the 1,000-level for the first time this week. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 19 points to 1,989.
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