U.S. stocks started higher on Thursday, with investors heartened by better-than-expected news on the employment front. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 40 points to 9,789. The S&P 500 Index gained 2 points to 1,063. The Nasdaq Composite rose 5 points to 2,136. The earnings keep flooding in. A couple of earnings reports from the likes of Redhat, Paychex, Vail Resorts, 3Com, Rite Aid, Scholastic, and Bed Bath Bath & Beyond. Rite Aid is down 10% while Redhat is jumping 13%. The techs in general look good. 3Com is up 4% on earnings. Apple, Google, and National Semi are all higher on upgrades this morning. The financials are all modestly higher, but commodities are lower. After the first half an hour the averages remain in the green not far from the highs of the day, but that was it for the rally. After the first hour the averages were in the red. Through the morning and into the afternoon, the averages remained in the red. In the last hour, no rally, but we did close off the lows. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 41 points at 9,707. The S&P 500 declined 10 points, or 1%, to 1,050. The Nasdaq Composite slumped 23 points, or 1.1%, to 2,107.
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