U.S. stocks started with a mild retreat on Thursday even though the news is pretty good this morning. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 10 points to 10,280. Walmart is higher after beating earnings estimates. The S&P 500 declined a point to 1,096. The Nasdaq Composite fell a point to 2,165. On the merger front, GE is selling their security business to United Tech for $1.82 billion. Neither stock is reacting much. HP is buying out 3Com for $2.7 billion. 3Com is jumping 31% while HP is modestly lower. Juniper and Brocade are both lower on fears of increased competition. In the chip space, AMD is jumping 22% after agreeing to drop all antitrust claims against Intel in exchange for $1.25 billion. Not bad. Intel is modestly higher as well. Activision Blizzard is up 2% after breaking a one day sales record for video game sales, coming in at $310 million. Not bad. Applied Materials is modestly lower following earnings last night. In the retail space, Kohls is up a percent after beating estimates. Green Mountain Coffe is down 9% on in line earnings. Budweiser is lower following earnings while Urban Outfitters and Grennbrier are modestly higher following earnings. After the first hour the averages remained stuck near the unchanged level. Through the rest of the morning the averages started to pull back. In the afternoon the selling accelerated with the commodities dropping as well. The rebound in the U.S. dollar is part of the culprit for the selling. In the last hour the selling accelerated on light volume. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 110 points at 10,181. The S&P 500 Index dipped 12 points to 1,085. The energy sector sank 2.2% along with crude-oil futures, which were hit by a stronger dollar and large buildup in U.S. crude inventories. The Nasdaq Composite fell 20 points to 2,146.
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