U.S. stocks opened slightly higher Wednesday, with gains tilted towards gold and commodities as the dollar slumped in the wake of the Federal Reserve signaling it stood ready to provide more stimulus to stave off deflation and boost the economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 21 points to 10,783, with 20 of its 30 components opening higher. Blue-chips were lifted by a 1.5% gain in shares of aluminum giant Alcoa. The S&P 500 index rose a point to 1,140, led by a 0.8% increase in the energy sector. The Nasdaq Composite declined 2 points to 2,347. The commodities are acting well this morning. Freeport McMoRan is jumping 2% to new recent highs. Cliffs Natural Resources is higher by 2.5% following a bullish upgrade. Hess and Diamond Offshore are higher on upgrades. The fertilizer stocks continue to perform well. The tech sector is mixed this morning. Adobe is the dog of the day down 20% following weak sales guidance. PMC Sierra is down 9% after lowering guidance. Ebay raised guidance last night, but the stock is lower by 3%. Qlogic and Nvidia are lower on upgrades. Microsoft raised their dividend by 23% this morning, but investors are unimpressed. The stock is lower by 3%. Nokia was downgraded, but the stock is unchanged. Progressive Software is jumping 6% after beating earnings estimates. Apple is making new 52 week highs. Research in Motion is higher on rumors they will introduce a new tablet. An analyst made comments that Research in Motion should provide Android software on their phones. That would be good for Google which is making new recent highs this morning. After the first hour the averages moved lower. The financials are in the red. Jefferies is down 5% after missing earnings estimates this morning. Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs had their earnings estimates slashed this morning over at Deutsche Bank. American Express is lower even though they received an upgrade this morning. M&T Bank opened higher, but then sold off on more rumors of a takeover. Through the morning the averages drifted lower with the Dow falling 40 points and the Nasdaq declining 22 points. A few stocks continue to perform well including Apple, Google, and a number of commodities. In the afternoon, more of the same, with only a few stocks trading in the green. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 21 point at 10,739. The S&P 500 index slid 5 points to 1,134, held down by the financial sector, dropping 1.6%. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 14 points to 2,334.
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