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U.S. stocks opened higher Thursday after reports on U.S. economic growth and the labor market beat expectations. Up more than 8% this month, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stands to end with its best September performance in 71 years. The Dow industrials rose 61 points to 10,897. The S&P 500 added 7 points to 1,152. The Nasdaq Composite gained 18 points to 2,395. It's been a great month and hreat year for a number of Dow components. Caterpillar leads the Dow with a year-to-date gain of 40%. DuPont holds the No. 2 slot with a gain of 32% so far in 2010, followed by a 21% rise for Boeing. Alcoa lags the group with a year-to-date loss of 25%. Microsoft is second-to-last with a drop of 19% so far this year. Microsoft's rivals, Google and Apple, continue to perform well. Research in Motion is higher once again on an upgrade. F5 Networks is higher on an upgrade. Qualcomm is higher on rumors their chips will go into the new iphone 5. The financials are up for once. The sector seems to be doing well thanks in part to the CEO from Deutsche Bank making positive comments about the third quarter. Deutsche Bank is up 4% on this news. Within the first hour the Dow screamed higher rising over 100 points while the Nasdaq rose 23 points. The averages gave up half their gains in the next half an hour. The commodity stocks are trading lower this morning. Noble Energy is down 4% on news of lower day rate pricing. In the retail space this morning Best Buy and Priceline are higher on upgrades. American Eagle is up 3% on takeover chatter. Restaurant company McCormick is up 3% following earnings. One takeover story this morning, Hypercom is jumping 45% after rejecting a buyout offer from Verifone. After the first hour the rally fizzled with the Dow only up 40 points and the Nasdaq up just 7 points. Through the morning the selling accelerated with the Dow dropping over 50 points and the Nasdaq declining 20 points. A big reversal to end the quarter. Can't blame people for profit-taking. In the afternoon the averages remain in the red with only a few financials in the green. The averages tried to rally back to the unchanged level only to sell back off into the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 47 points at 10,788. The S&P 500 index lost 3 points to 2,368. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 7 points to 2,368. For the month, the Dow rose 7.7% while the S&P 500 gained 8.8%. Both averages scored their best September in 71 years. The Nasdaq jumped 12% for the month, its best September since 1998.
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