U.S. stocks opened modestly lower on Tuesday ahead of investment bank Goldman Sachs Group's testimony on Capitol Hill. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 22 points to 11,182. Most Dow components are lower, however, 3M reported blow out earnings this morning causing the stock to jump 3%. The S&P 500 Index fell 6 points to 1,205. The Nasdaq Composite shed 9 points to 2,513. The earnings keep flooding in with virtually all firms beating estimates, but the market is in a profit-taking mood. The companies beating estimates today include US Steel, US Airway, Cummins Engine, Valero, Estee Lauder, Black & Decker, Ford, Newmont Mining, NBT Bancorp, Fortune Brand, Texas Instruments, Alcon, Volterra, Under Armour, Lexmark, Lazard, BP, DuPont, Tyco, and Jacobs. Most are trading lower. Lexmark, Volterra, Valero, Black & Decker, NBT Bancorp, and Lazard are modestly higher. Plenty of upgrades today, but they are not helping. The list of stocks receiving upgrades include Childrens Place, Qualcomm, Marvell, Potash, Caterpillar, Baidu.com, Oracle, Boeing, Whirlpool, Texas Instruments, DSW, and H&R Block. Most are lower. At 10 o'clock better than expected consumer confidence number did little to help things. After the first half an hour the averages kept sliding except for Goldman which is getting grilled infront of Congress. Through the morning the averages kept moving lower. Dow dropped over 100 points. The Nasdaq declined 40 points. The only stock green on my screen is Goldman Sachs. Go figure. IBM reported great earnings last week, raised their dividend today, and increased their buyback, but yet the stock is lower. Not a good day for the longs. Even Apple is lower. During the lunch hour the averages recovered, then sold off once again. In the last hour the averages sold off to new lows for the day with the Dow dropped over 200 points below 11000 for the first time in two weeks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 213 points, or 1.9%, at 10,991. The S&P 500 index fell 28, or 2.3%, to 1,183, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 51 points, or 2%, to 2,471.
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