U.S. stocks open higher to start March after AIG agreed to sell their largest asset to Prudential for $35.5 billion. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 45 points to 10,370. The S&P 500 Index added 5 points to 1,109 while the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 15 points to 2,253. So far so good this morning. Prudential is up a percent on the AIG purchase agreement. AIG is up 7%. On the earnings front Dillards is up 11% on strong earnings. Rowan, El Paso, and Dish Network are all higher following earnings. HSBC is down 7% following lackluster earnings. At 10 o'clock a weaker than expected manufacturing number did little to deter the bulls. The tech sector is performing well. Sandisk, Marvell, Apple, and Research in Motion are higher on upgrades. The financials are quiet. The commodities are performing well. The earthquake in Chile has caused copper prices to jump. After the first hour the averages inched higher with the Dow up 60 points and the Nasdaq up 25 points. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages remained strong near the highs of the day even as the financials gave up their gains. Through the afternoon the averages remain near the highs of the day with only the financials not participating. Volume is light. The averages did rally into the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 78 points to 10,403. The S&P 500 Index climbed 11 points to 1,115. The Nasdaq Composite gained 35 points to 2,273.
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