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U.S. stocks opened slightly higher on Wednesday, after a better-than-expected increase in private-sector employment helped lift hopes that the economy is recovering once again. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 14 points to 10,652, with 19 of its 30 components rising. The S&P 500 index gained 3 points to 1,124, led by gains in the consumer discretionary sector. The Nasdaq Composite rose 14 points to 2,297. Plenty of earnings keep pouring in. Priceline is trading up 21%. Not bad. Other companies trading higher following earnings include Anadarko Petroleum, Electronic Arts, CBS, XL Capital, Devon Energy, Polo, El Paso Energy, Intercontinential Exchange, Sirius Satellite, Time Warner, Agrium, and DSW. Stocks trading lower following earnings include Molex, Hertz, Owens Corning, Garmin, and Frontier. Whole Foods is down 6% after lowering guidance last night. At 10 o'clock, better than expected manufactoring number sent the averages higher. The Dow rose 60 points above 10700 for the first time in two months. The Nasdaq rose 16 points above 2300. The rally didn't last. After the first hour the averages were back at the unchanged level. The big economic number comes out on Friday. In the tech space Google looks good while Research in Motion is heading back down. That stock can't seem to catch a break. The financials are quiet except for Goldman Sachs which is up a percent. The fertilizers look good following Agrium's earnings. Barnes & Noble is jumping 20% on news the company will explore strategic options. In other words, sell out. Through the morning the averages did very little. In the afternoon the averages slowly improved. Google looks good up 3%. Unfortunately, Research in Motion keeps pushing lower. Goldman Sachs looks good after announcing they will spin off their prop trading desk. The commodities look good as well. As the afternoon progressed the averages improved. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 44 points at 10,680, led by a 2.4% gain in shares of DuPont. The S&P 500 index gained 6 points to 1,127, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 20 points to 2,303.
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