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U.S. stocks started strongly higher on Thursday, with commodities including oil and gold also rallying, after a fall in weekly jobless claims echoed positive data from overseas. Thoughts of increased global demand had energy and material companies rising. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 80 points to 10,936. The S&P 500 Index climbed 10 points to 1,180. The Nasdaq Composite added 21 points to 2,419. The start of a new quarter and the markets are off to the races. In the commodity space Freeport McMoran is jumping 3%. Suncor Energy is up 3% on an upgrade. In the tech space Apple is at a new high. Google looks good. The chips are performing well thanks to strong earnings from Micron last night. Micron is jumping 4% following a number of upgrades. One of the few techs lower is Research in Motion. The stock is down 5% after missing estimates last night. Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock. The financials are higher. Legg Mason is up 5% on an upgrade. Hartford is up 2% after reiterating guidance. Citigroup's spinoff of Primerica is getting good reception this morning. One of the few financials trading lower is Blackrock on a downgrade. In the retail space AnnTaylor and Gap are higher on upgrades. Borders is jumping 44% following earnings. I guess they are not going bankrupt just yet. Carmax and Scholastic are modestly lower following earnings. After the first hour the Nasdaq rose 20 points. The Dow rose 95 points to 10950, inching closer to 11000. Through the morning the averages backed off their gains, but not by much. A few stocks are not participating in the rally including Research in Motion, Microsoft, and Walmart. Fertilizer stock Mosaic is dragging down the sector after missing earnings estimates this morning. In the afternoon the averages gave up more of their gains. The Nasdaq fell into the red. The Dow gave up half it's gains, dropping below 10900. So much for Dow 11000. In the last hour the averages had a nice recovery. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 70 points to end at 10,927. The S&P 500 Index ended up 8 points at 1,178. The Nasdaq Composite rose 4 points to end 2,402.
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