U.S. stocks opened modestly higher on Monday after heavy-equipment maker Caterpillar reported positive results and said the global economy is improving. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened higher by 34 points to 11,238. The S&P 500 Index rose 2 points to 1,219. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 4 points to 2,535. The Dow looks great thanks in large part to a 5% rise in Caterpillar. Only two other Dow components are up as much as 1%. The strength in the Dow masks broader market weakness. The financials are under pressure due in part to earnings and pending Congressional legislation. Blackrock is down 8% after missing estimates. Citigroup is down 3% after the Treasury announced they will proceed with selling 1.5 billion shares of the banking giant. First Niagara is modestly lower on in-line earnings. Fifth Third is modestly lower on a downgrade. Thomas Weisel is jumping 64% after agreeing to sell the firm to Stifel Financial. Stifel is down 4%. In the tech sector Google is down a percent to new recent lows. The stock is not looking good. Nokia and Dell are down over 2% on downgrades. Cisco Systems is modestly higher on an upgrade. The chips are faring better. Texas Instruments is at a new high ahead of earnings tonight. The retailers continue to perform well. Office Depot is up 6% to new highs on an upgrade. Lowes and Home Depot are at new highs as well. Whirlpool is jumping 14% on blow out earnings. That stock has nearly tripled in the last year. Not bad. After the first hour the Dow remains strong up 30 points. The Nasdaq is going no where. Through the morning the averages didn't budge. Google moves lower. The financials remain in the red. Goldman Sachs is down 3% to new recent lows ahead of Congressional testimony tomorrow. The commodities are performing well. Freeport McMoRan is up nearly 2%. The fertilizers and steel stocks are higher. Caterpillar's earnings are helping the commodity stocks. In the afternoon the averages remained quiet until the last hour when the rally fizzled. The financials sold off and the commodities gave up their gains. in the tech sector Google pushed lower, Apple fell into the red, but a number of techs held up like Research in Motion, IBM, and Texas Instruments. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 75 cents at 11,205, its sixth straight session of gains. The S&P 500 index fell 5 points to 1,212. The Nasdaq Composite lost 7 points to 2,522.
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