U.S. stocks opened tentatively higher on Thursday, with technology shares modestly higher ahead of results from Google. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 4 points to 10,610. The S&P 500 Index rose 3 points to 1,141. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 14 points at 2,306. Plenty of good earnings from the tech sector. Seagate is up 10% on strong earnings and an upgrade. Fairchild Semi is higher on better than expected earnings. F5 Networks and Cypress Semi are higher on upgrades. Google, Apple, and a number of other big techs are lower this morning. After the open, the averages gave up their gains. The financials are mixed this morning. The big banks are lower even as Goldman Sachs provided strong earnings this morning. Legg Mason is lower after missing estimates. A couple of regional banks look good including Keycorp, Fifth Third, Raymond James, Knight Capital after beating estimates. Sallie Mae is higher following better than expected earnings last night. M&T Bank is up 2% on an upgrade. Metlife is lower on a downgrade. The commodities moved lower along with the averages as the morning progressed. Freeport McMoRan is down 6% even though they beat estimates. In the retail sector Under Armour and Panera Bread are higher on upgrades. Dreamworks is higher on an upgrade. After the first hour the Dow dropped over 100 points. The Nasdaq declined 20 points. The financials are weak ahead of a speech by the President regarding taxing the banks. The concern was well founded as the President layed out his plan to limit the power and influence of big banks sending them and the major averages lower. The Dow dropped 200 points. The Nasdaq declined 25 points. Here we go again. Through the afternoon the markets tried to dissect what in the world the President meant regarding his speech regarding the big banks. The President has caused a mess on Wallstreet. Late afternoon Congressman Barney Frank tried to explain the President's speech more articulately indicating that the new rules for banks will be phased in over the next three to five years. If that's true, then Wallstreet can breath a sigh of relief. In fact, after the Barney Frank speech the averages did improve slightly, but then sold off in the last hour. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 213 points, or 2%, at 10,389. The S&P 500 Index shed 21 points, or 1.9%, to close at 1,116. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 25 points, or 1.1%, to end at 2,265. The Dow and the Nasdaq are now in the red for the year. The S&P 500 is up one point for the year.
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