U.S. stocks started higher on Thursday after the count of those filing for initial jobless benefits during the past four weeks declined and the trade deficit narrowed as the weaker dollar bolstered exports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 96 points to 10,433. The S&P 500 Index rose 9 points to 1,105. The Nasdaq Composite gained 19 points to 2,202. Plenty of good news today, but most stocks don't look as good as the averages. The financials are quiet this morning. Citigroup is looking to pay back $20 billion worth of TARP dollars. The stock is unchanged. Visa and Mastercard are modestly higher on upgrades. Plenty of upgrades in the tech sector. Corning and Research in Motion are higher following upgrades. Google is higher thanks to positive comments regarding their Android software picking up steam within the cellphone industry. Ciena is down 8% on in line earnings and lowered guidance. Other companies reporting earnings include Dollar General, Smithfield Foods, Costco, Eli Lilly, and El Paso. Only Costco is modestly higher. Time Warner is spinning off America On Line following a disasterous merger in 2001. Both stocks are lower. After the first hour, the Dow was up 70 points. The Nasdaq remained up 14 points. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages remained in the green. The financials are not participating. A number of techs look good. IBM made a new 52 week high. Google and Research in Motion look good. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 68 points to 10,405. The S&P 500 Index climbed 6 points to 1,102 while the Nasdaq Composite Index added 7 points to 2,190.86.
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