U.S. stocks opened modestly higher Wednesday to extend gains into a fourth day as investors await Friday's big employment report. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 11 points to 10,418. The S&P 500 added a point to 1,119. The Nasdaq Composite climbed a point to 2,282. Very little news to start the day. On the earnings front Joy Gobal, Hovnanian, and Big Lots are higher after beating estimates. BJs and Costco are lower after missing estimates. All sectors seem to be performing well. Within the financials Eaton and Blackstone are higher on upgrades. In the tech sector Akamia and Microsoft are higher on upgrades. Through the morning the averages improved with the Dow rising 50 points and the Nasdaq improving by 12 points. The commodities have been performing well. Freeport McMoRan is higher on an upgrade. In the afternoon the Volcker Rule reared it's ugly head once again causing the financials to sell off. The President made a last ditch effort to pass the healthcare bill, and the Beige Book was released showing some modest economic improvement. Even so the averages sold off similar to yesterday. Volume is light. In the last hour no major changes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 9 points at 10,396. The S&P 500 Index added half a point to end at 1,118 while the Nasdaq Composite Index finished down 11 cents at 2,280.
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