U.S. stocks struggled at the start on Thursday with investors hesitating after an extended run higher. Early data showed inflation remained tame last month and new claims for jobless benefits fell last week. Extending gains into an eighth day in a row, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 16 points to 10,750. Alcoa and DuPont are leading the blue chip average. The S&P 500 Index rose fractionally to 1,166, while the Nasdaq Composite rose fractionally as well to 2,389. A number of earnings from the retail sector this morning. GameStop and Nike are up over 5% following earnings. Guess is up 3% after beating estimates. Burger King and JC Penney are higher on upgrades. In the tech sector the chips continue to perform well. Intel, LSI, Broadcom, and Qualcomm are higher thanks to positive analyst comments. Corning, Research in Motion, and Cisco are higher as well thanks to upgrades. The financials are quiet this morning following a nice run up. Goldman Sachs and GE are two financials that continue to push higher. After the first hour the Dow remained in the green while the Nasdaq declined a point. As the morning progressed not much changed. The averages remain quiet on light volume. In the afternoon, when the NCAA tournment began, more of the same. The Dow is performing well. In the last hour more money flooded into the blue chips. The Dow average finished up 45 points at 10,779 points. The S&P 500 ended down 38 cents at 1,165. The Nasdaq Composite added 2 points to 2,391.
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