U.S. stocks fell sharply at the open on Thursday, though they recovered a bit of ground, following broad losses overseas as rising concern over growth intensified after an unexpected rise in jobless claims. After slumping more than 100 points in the first minutes of trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 78 points to 10,300, with 24 of its 30 components opening lower. Leading the way lower among blue chips, shares of Cisco Systems tumbled 10% a day after the firm issued a sales forecast below Wall Street's expectations. The S&P 500 index declined 10 points to 1,078. The Nasdaq Composite lost 31 points to 2,177. Cisco's earnings actually were pretty good. Sales and earnings grew over 18% and the stock trades for 12 times earnings. That's what is so frustrating about this market. At least Wells Fargo upgraded a number of techs including Apple, Google, IBM, and Net Appliance. Only Apple is higher. Net Appliance is down 7%. Qualcomm is down 2% on a downgrade. Netsuite is lower even though it was upgraded. Ebay is up 2% on an upgrade. The financials are lower once again. Blackstone is one of the few financials higher on an upgrade from Goldman Sachs. After the open the averages continued to slowly improve. The commodities turned around. The fertilizers and Freeport look good. A number of retailers look good. Elizabeth Arden is a diamond for the day, trading up 12%. Tim Hortons is up 6% after beating earnings estimates. Briggs & Stratton and Brinker are also higher following earnings. Estee Lauder, Sara Lee, and Kohl's are lower following earnings. BK Homes is down 2% after their treasurer resigned. That's not good. After the first hour the averages had cut their losses in half. Through the morning the averages remained in the red, but off the lows. In the afternoon the averages recovered, sold off, and then recovered once again. In the last hour, the same thing. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 59 points at 10,319. The S&P 500 index dropped 5 points to end at 1,083, led lower by a 1.7% drop in the technology sector. The Nasdaq Composite fell 18 points to 2,190.27.
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