U.S. stocks started higher on Wednesday following through from yesterday as investors anticipate further talk of economic improvement from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 53 points to 9,993. The S&P 500 Index rose 6 points to 1,068. The Nasdaq Composite rose 18 points to 2,188. The techs and commodities are performing well this morning. Baidu.com, Texas Instruments, and Marvell were all upgraded. Ciena is up 6% following earnings. Google looks good this morning. In the commodity space, Potash is jumping 2% on an upgrade. Freeport McMoRan is up 3%. The oils are weak. BP is down 3% after one analyst predicted a 50% dividend cut. The financials are struggling this morning. US Bancorp is modestly higher on an upgrade. Goldman Sachs and a number of the big banks are lower on concerns of financial reform and the political primaries last night. National Financial Partners is down 9% after offering a convertible senior note that could dilute shareholders. Spanish bank, Banco Santander is higher after making a $2.5 billion acquisition in Mexico. That's a bullish statement indicating that neither the Spanish economy or the Spanish bank are not in such bad shape. In the pharmaceutical industry Forest Labs is higher on an upgrade. Cardinal Health is modestly higher after making an acquisition. After the first half an hour the averages remain in the green, but off the highs. Through the morning the averages actually improved. The Dow rose 80 points as many of the financials moved into the green. The Nasdaq rose 26 points. Bernanke seems to be saying the right things to Congress. The bounce continues. In the afternoon the averages remain strong with the Dow over 100 points. The Nasdaq rose 30 points. The dog of the day goes to BP down 8% on speculation the company will file for bankruptcy to limit their losses. In the middle of the afternoon the averages gave up some of their gains even though the release of the Beige Book indicated that economy is actually performing well. Entering the last hour the rally started to evaporate. BP is down 14% to new lows on concerns of bankruptcy. In the last hour the averages fell into the red. So much for our rally. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 40 points at 9,899. The S&P 500 Index declined 6 points to 1,055. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 11 points to 2,158.
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