U.S. stocks sputter at the start following mostly upbeat economic data and earnings reports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 12 points to 9,804. The S&P 500 inched up fractionally to 1,069 while the Nasdaq Composite held steady at 2,133. Plenty of upgrades as the analyst community warms up to the stock market. Within the financials Citigroup, US Bancorp, Bank of New York, Genworth, Suntrust, and PNC Financial were all upgraded. Citigroup is up 2%. Discover had solid earnings, but the stock is modestly lower. Within the tech sector Google, Intel, and AMD were upgraded. All three are higher. Oracle is lower by 3% following earnings last night. In the retail space Home Depot is up a percent on an upgrade. Pier One is up 9% after beating estimates. Dress Barn and Herman Miller are both down over 6% following earnings beats. FedEx is down a percent on in line earnings. In the commodity space, Nucor and Potash are higher on upgrades. After the first half an hour, the averages received a jolt thanks to better than expected manufacturing data. The Dow jumped a quick 50 points. The Nasdaq moved into the green. After the first hour, the rally fizzled with the averages retreating to the unchanged level. Through the rest of the morning and into the afternoon, the averages hovered around the unchanged level. A select number of stocks are performing well like the oil refiner, Valero up 6%, Citigroup is up 5%, Bank of America is up 2%, and tech stocks Apple and Google keep pushing higher. In the last hour, the averages finished in the red, but not by much. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 7 points at 9,783. The S&P 500 Index declined 3 points to 1,065 while the Nasdaq Composite shed 6 points to 2,126.
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