U.S. stocks opened higher on Friday, with equities heading toward weekly gains, after an unanticipated hike in retail sales provided another indication that the economic recovery is continuing. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 25 points to 10,637. The S&P 500 Index rose a point to 1,151. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced a point to 2,369. The retailers continue to perform well. Aeropostale is jumping 5% on an upgrade. Red Robin and Saks are both up over 3% on upgrades. AnnTaylor and and Hibbett Sporting are lower following earnings. In the tech sector Google and Apple continue to perform well. Cypress Semi, Micron, and Intel are higher following upgrades. The big banks continue to perform well. Investment newsletters are expecting a break out in the banking index. Discover is higher on an upgrade. Citigroup is modestly lower following cautious comments from Oppenheimer after a nice run up. In the commodity space the fertilizers are performing great. Potash is jumping 6% after raising guidance. Agrium is also up 6% in sympathy. CF Industries is lower by 4% after Terra Industries agreed to an aquisition. After the first half an hour the Dow was up 17 points while the Nasdaq rose just a point. Through the morning the averages gave up their gains. The fertilizers and a select number of techs and banks are continuing to perform well. In the afternoon the averages dipped into the red. The financials are showing weakness for the first time this week. In the last hour the Dow was able to sneak into the green thanks to a spurt in shares of GE. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 12 points at 10,624, leaving the blue chip average up 0.6% from the week-ago close. The S&P 500 Index fell a quarter of a point to end at 1,149, a level that averages up a percent fro the week. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell a point to finish at 2,367.66, up 1.8% from the week-ago close.
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