Happy St. Patrick's Day. U.S. stocks opened higher on Wednesday amid ongoing cheer over the Federal Reserve maintaining its stance that should keep interest rates at record lows for much of the year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 30 points to 10,716. The S&P 500 Index added 4 points to 1,163 while the Nasdaq Composite gained 6 points to 2,384. Everything looks pretty good this morning. The analysts are in a good mood this morning. This is the closest the markets been to a break out in some time. The financials keep pushing higher. Hartford is up 4% on news they are ready to pay back their TARP funds. CIT Group is up 4% on pro forma earnings which excludes all the bad stuff earnings. Discover is up a percent on in line earnings. Credit Suisse upgraded the firm. Blackrock is jumping 5% on an upgrade. GE continues to push higher thanks in part to an upgrade. Genworth was downgraded, but the stock is higher. In the tech sector, the chips continue to perform well. LSI is jumping 11% after raising guidance. The stock is at a new high. Intel is also at a new high on an upgrade. Micron was upgraded as well. Google is higher after having their estimates raised. Garmin is up 4% after announcing a one time dividend and moving their headquarters from the Cayman Islands to Switzerland. I'm not a big fan of moving the headquarters around to avoid taxes. In the retail space AnnTaylor and Abercrombie & Fitch are higher on upgrades. Staples is modestly lower as the company announced a small acquisition this morning. After the first hour the averages remained right where they started the day. As the morning progressed the averages inched higher. The insurance stocks are performing well. Hartford and Lincoln Financial are both up 4%. Prudential and Metlife are higher by 1.5%. A lot of new highs in the financials and techs. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages pushed higher. This is a slow motion bull market. The Dow rose as much as 70 points before pulling back in the law hour. The Nasdaq rose 22 points before pulling back in the last hour.
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