U.S. stocks started higher on Monday with investor sentiment bolstered by a burst of corporate deals and after signs of robust economic growth in China. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 81 points to 10,543. The S&P 500 Index climbed 10 points to 1,119. The Nasdaq Composite rose 22 points to 2,264. The strong China data is lifting commodities like Freeport McMoRan up 3.5%. Cleveland Cliffs is up 3%. On the deal front, HP is buying another firm, this time it's Arc Sight for $1.5 billion. Arc Sight is up 25% while even HP is modestly higher. HP can't seem to stop themselves from buying firms. Hertz is buying Dollar Thrifty for cash. Both stocks are up over 5%. The financials are acting great after the European banking regulations were not as stringent as feared. The financial index is up over 2%. Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and JP Morgan are all up over 3%. Huntington Bancorp and Regions Financial are higher by 4% on upgrades. Visa and Mastercard are lower on downgrades. The techs are performing well. Xerox is jumping 7% on a positive cover piece in Barrons over the weekend. Nokia is up 3% on an upgrade. Salesforce.com is modestly higher on an upgrade. The Dow Transportation Averages is back near its' July highs. FedEx and JB Hunt are higher on upgrades. After the first hour the Dow rose 90 points. The Nasdaq improved by 34 points. So far so good. Through the morning the Nasdaq remained strong, but a number of Dow components started to pull back. In the afternoon, heading into the last hour the averages rebounded with the Dow jumping 60 points. The Nasdaq remained strong up 36 points. Alliance Data is jumping 3% after announcing a $400 million share buyback. Companies are starting to use their money buying stock, companies, but not hiring new employees. In the last hour the averages kept improving. September's been pretty good so far. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 81 points at 10,544 lifted by a 5.3% rise in shares of Microsoft. The firm said it is gearing up for the introduction of new wireless Internet networks on unused U.S. T.V. airwaves. The S&P 500 index rose 12 points, or 1.1%, to 1,121, with financials rising 2.3% and technology gaining 2.1%. The Nasdaq Composite jumped 43 points, or 1.9%, to 2,285.
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