U.S. stocks rose modestly at Wednesday's start, with investor focus shifting back to the U.S. economy after days spent on debt trouble in Europe. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 41 points to 10,788. The S&P 500 Index added 5 points to 1,160. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 12 points to 2,387. The markets seem to be calming down after last weeks volatility. In the tech space a number of upgrades including Intel, AMD, and Texas Instruments. Apple has continued its' upward trend. Baidu is up 4% after splitting 10 for 1. Rival, Google continues to struggle. Someone keeps selling that stock. In the financial sector a couple of upgrades including Huntington Bancshares, Zions Bancorp, and Comerica. All three are higher. Morgan Stanley is one of the few financials lower, down 3%, after news of a federal investigation into their mortgage business. The commodities look good this morning. Freeport is up 3% as gold pushes to new highs. Potash is up 2% on an upgrade. BP continues to face headline risk as dead dolphins wash up on the shores in the gulf. Ironically, BP's stock is modestly higher. Amazing. In the retail space, Ruby Tuesday is jumping 8% following earnings. Pepsi is higher on an upgrade. Starbucks is higher after launching a new coffee line. Macys is up 2% after beating earnings estimates. Sunpower, Electronic Arts, and Rick Cabaret are lower following earnings. After the first half an hour the Dow jumped 90 points. Disney opened lower this morning after reporting better than expected earnings last night, but is now trading higher. The Nasdaq rose 30 points. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages continued to improve. The Dow rose 130 points. The Nasdaq rose 38 points. Very few stocks are in the red. Google remains weak. Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, and JP Morgan are lower. Disney is modestly lower. Software maker, Sybase is jumping a mere 50% on rumors of a takeover by SAP. I hope they're right. In the last hour the averages remained strong. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 148 points, or 1.4%, at 10,896. The S&P 500 index rose 15 points, or 1.3%, to 1,171, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 49 points, or 2%, to 2,425.
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