U.S. stocks slumped at the start on Wednesday, extending the market's longest losing streak since late June into a fourth consecutive day. News that U.S. companies cut more jobs than expected in August didn't help sentiment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 3 points to 9,307. The S&P 500 fell a point to 996, while the Nasdaq Composite declined 4 points to 1,964. Not much news moving the markets. The healthcare stocks are performing well on easing government concerns of major new regulations. Unitedhealth Group is up 4% and Wellpoint it higher by 3%. A few earning reports this morning. Jos. A Bank is higher by 4% on better than expected earnings. A number of retailers like Gap and American Eagle are higher on upgrades. A number of techs are higher like Apple and Research in Motion. Amtech raised earnings estimates on Research in Motion. Most of the financials are lower. Wells Fargo is modestly higher on positive comments they can pay back TARP without diluting their stock. After the first hour the averages remained in the red, but not by much. During the lunch hour the averages nudged into the green, but things are quiet. How quiet. At 2 0'clock, the Fed minutes were released indicating that the Fed felt more comfortable that the recession was over. What did the market do? Nothing. In the last hour we saw a modest rally followed by selling into the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 29 points to 9,280. The S&P 500 Index shed 3 points to 994 while the Nasdaq Composite dropped a point to rest at 1,967.
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