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U.S. stocks on Monday struggled to maintain opening gains ahead of the unofficial start of earnings season, which kicks off with aluminum giant Alcoa after the close. Trading at 18-month highs, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 12 points to 11,010. The S&P 500 Index climbed 2 points to 1,196. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 3 points to 2,457. A big, big week for the markets. In the tech space, Intel is unchanged ahead of earnings tomorrow. Intel received two upgrades. Texas Instruments is up 2.5% on an upgrade. Google, EMC, and Fairchild Semi are higher on upgrades. Apple is at another new high. Network Appliance is lower on a downgrade. The financials are modestly higher this morning. JP Morgan, Charles Schwab, Bank of America, and GE report earnings this week. In the retail space Abercrombie, Sanderson Farms, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Chicos, Gap, and Dicks were all upgraded. Decker Outdoors is down 4% on a downgrade. A number of Dow components received upgrades including Caterpillar and AT&T. Time Warner and St. Jude Medical were also upgraded this morning. After the first hour the Dow remained in the green up 20 points. The Nasdaq is only up a point. Through the morning the averages did not budge. Investors are awaiting earnings reports later this week. In the afternoon more of the same. Microsoft released their new phone which is geared toward texters and not talkers. Rivals Research in Motion, Google, Apple rallied following the release. In the last hour the averages fought to hold their gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 8 points at 11,005. The S&P 500 Index rose 2 points to 1,196. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 3 points to 2,457.
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