U.S. stocks fell sharply at the start thanks to disappointing housing data and profit taking following better than expected earnings. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 101 points to 10,623. The S&P 500 Index declined 9 points to 1,140. The Nasdaq Composite Index lapsed 20 points to 2,300. After the open, the averages pushed lower due to profit-taking. IBM is down 4% following great earnings and a number of upgrades. Go figure. Cisco Systems, Google, NetAppliance, Intel, and BMC Software all received upgrades yet all are lower. Tensions continue to brew between Google and Apple as Apple may team up with Microsoft to promote their Bing search engine. One stock bucking the trend is Cree jumping 15% following blow out earnings. After the first hour the Dow dropped 150 points. The Nasdaq declined 30 points. One sector holding up well is the financials. A majority of the banks are beating estimates including M&T Bank, Northern Trust, Jefferies, Wells Fargo, US Bancorp, State Street, and Bank of New York Mellon. All are higher. Bank of America missed, but is higher. Charles Schwab is down 2% after missing estimates. Citigroup is modestly lower on an upgrade. Other companies reporting earnings include Big Lots, Coach, and AMR. All three are lower. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages remained weak. Entering the last hour, the Dow was down 135 points. The Nasdaq was down 35 points. The financials are holding in there, but everything else is weak. Not a pretty day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 122 points at 10,603. The S&P 500 Index shed 12 points to 1,138. The Nasdaq Composite declined 29 points to 2,291.
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