U.S. stocks opened lower Thursday after a rise in weekly jobless claims dented hopes about Friday's employment report for January. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 83 points to 10,186. The S&P 500 Index declined 10 points to 1,086. The Nasdaq Composite shed 15 points to 2,175. Not many stocks look good this morning. On the earnings front Mastercard, Kelloggs, Northrop Grumman, Moodys, Avon, CME Group, Cigna, Diamond Offshore, Reynolds American, Yum Brands, Stanley Furniture, Monster Worldwide, Ameriprise, Novellus, Akamai, Sara Lee, and Pilgrim Pride are all lower following earnings. A few stocks are higher like Burger King, NCR, Clorox, Cisco, Broadcom, and Visa thanks to earnings. In the retail space Macys and Gap are higher after raising guidance. TJX and Aeropostale are lower after raising guidance. As the first hour progressed the averages pushed sharply lower. Not a good sign. The earnings keep coming in great, but plenty of worries around the world about the debt loads of Greece, Portugal, and even the U.S. After the first hour the Dow dropped 170 points. The Nasdaq declined 40 points. Through the morning the averages did not improve. Plenty of upgrades for Research in Motion, Adobe, PNC Bank, Home Depot, Lowes, and Janus Capital. All are trading lower. Entering the lunch hour the question is will Dow 10,000 hold. In the afternoon the averages remained weak, but Dow 10,000 is holding. The big concern is sovereign debt issues in Greece and Portugal. In the last hour the averages pushed to new lows. The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 268 points, or 2.6%, to 10,002, its worst daily loss since April 20, 2009. The Dow had lapsed under 10,000 just ahead of the close, its first lapse under that level since early November. The S&P 500 Index fell 34 points, or 3.1%, to 1,063. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 65 points, or 3%, to 2,125.
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