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U.S. stocks opened higher on Monday, as investors cheered a $10 billion rescue of Dubai by Aby Dhabi and news of Exxon Mobil's plan to buy XTO Energy for $41 billion. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 24 points to 10,495, lifted by shares of Alcoa, Boeing, and Dupont. Exxon is down 4% on the merger news. The S&P 500 index gained 5 points to 1,111. The Nasdaq Composite rose 10 points to 2,200. The Exxon merger and a weak U.S. dollar has the commodities higher. XTO Energy is jumping 15% lifting all natural gas plays. Fertilizer stocks are actually lower on an analyst downgrade. The tech sector is performing well this morning. IBM and Google are making new highs this morning. Google was upgraded with a $695 price target. Cisco, Apple, Research in Motion, Microsoft, and Broadcom are higher thanks to upgrades. SunMicro is jumping 9% on hopes their merger with Oracle will finally get passed. Amazon is one of the few techs lower. The financials are struggling once again. Citigroup is lower on an announcement to raise capital to pay back some of the TARP. Wells Fargo is lower as they are looking to pay back TARP money as well. Charles Schwab is lower after releasing data points for November. Bank of America had their numbers cut at Stifel to reflect the repayment of TARP money. NY Community Bancorp is one of the few banks trading higher due to an upgrade and a positive piece in Barrons. A couple retailers are showing strength. Best Buy, Home Depot, and Fossil are higher thanks to upgrades. Through the morning the averages remain in the green, but quiet. In the afternoon more of the same. The financials are one of the few sectors not participating. The top bank CEOs had to meet with the President and get scolded for their recent actions. Deutsche Bank is performing well as the company forecasted bullish long term earnings estimates. In the last hour the Nasdaq improved while the Dow and S&P 500 closed at new highs for the year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 29 points at 10,501. The S&P 500 index rose 7 points to 1,114. The Nasdaq Composite gained 21 points, or 1%, to close at 2,212.
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