U.S. stocks opened steeply lower on Thursday with eBay among the companies offering disappointing outlooks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 79 points to 11,045. The S&P 500 Index declined 12 points to 1,193. The Nasdaq Composite shed 27 points to 2,477. A couple hundred earnings reports to go through this morning. A number of stocks are sharply lower following earnings including Ebay, Qualcomm, Janus, Peabody Energy, Union Pacific, Southwest Air, Kimberly Clark, Verizon, Pepsi, Philip Morris, Diamond Offshore, Fifth Third, Continental, Nokia, Blackstone, Nucor, NY Times, Sybase, Cypress Semi, Briggs & Stratton, and BB&T. In other words, most stocks and sectors are lower. A few stocks are higher following earnings including Chipotle Mexican Grill, Sallie Mae, Starbucks, Noble Drilling, Netflix, Hershey, Sandisk, Textron, and PNC Financial. Boeing is higher once again following strong earnings yesterday. Regional bank, Huntington Bancshares is higher thanks to an upgrade. And that's about it. After the first half an hour the Dow dropped 90 points while the Nasdaq declined 27 points. The healthcare sector is weak. Baxter International is down 15% after lowering guidance. After the first hour the averages slowly improved, before selling back off. Greece had their debt downgraded by Moodys. A number of banks are improving even as President Obama travels to New York to pitch his financial reform. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages slowly improved. A number of banks are making new 52 week highs today. That's good. Two Dow components, Boeing and Home Depot made new highs today. So the news isn't all bad. In the last hour the Nasdaq improved dragging the Dow into the green. Microsoft and Amazon report earnings after the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 9 points at 11,134. It was the fourth straight session of gains for the blue-chip average. The S&P 500 index rose 2 points to 1,208, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 14 points to 2,519.
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