U.S. stocks started higher on Wednesday after positive data on the housing market and better than expected earnings from equipment maker Deere. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 35 points to 10,304. Deere is up 6% following earnings and an upgrade. The S&P 500 Index rose 3 points to 1,098. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 7 points to 2,221. Other companies reporting good earnings include Wholefoods, La-Z-Boy, Devon Energy, Office Max, ING, Martha Stewart, and Dollar Thrifty. All are trading higher. Genzyme, XTO Energy, and Owens Corning are modestly lower following earnings. Plenty of upgrades this morning. Two tech stocks Microsoft and Intel are modestly higher on upgrades. Most of the techs are quiet. Research in Motion and Motorola are lower even though Broadpoint Amtech made positive comments. In the retail space Fossil, Wholefoods, Home Depot, Mattel, and Talbots were all upgraded. Talbots and Coinstar also raised guidance. The financials are modestly higher following a strong rally yesterday. Prudential is up 1.5% on an upgrade. In an SEC filing a number of big name investors like George Soros, Eddie Lampert, and John Paulson increased their stakes in names like Citigroup, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo. All three are higher. After the first hour the averages remained in the green. The Dow remained up 25 points while the Nasdaq was up 10 points. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages remained modestly in the green, but it seems that most stocks are in the red. The techs are struggling except for IBM. Through the day the averages tried to sell off, but rebounded each time. Resilient. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 40 points at 10,309. The S&P 500 Index gained 4 points to 1,099, while the Nasdaq Composite added 12 points to 2,226.
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