U.S. stocks opened modestly higher Monday, extending gains for the Dow Industrial Average above 11,000. This week is the start of third quarter earnings season. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 9 points to 11,016. The S&P 500 rose a point to 1,166. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 3 points to 2,405. Merger Monday is back in vogue. Gymboree is jumping 22% after agreeing to be acquired by a private equity firm. Childrens Place and JC Penney are jumping on this merger news. Family Dollar, Gap, Coinstar, and Abercrombie & Fitch are higher on upgrades. In the tech sector Apple and Google continue to push higher. Both received positive comments this morning from analysts. Symantec, Broadcom, and Corning are higher on upgrades. IBM is at a new 52 week high. Research in Motion is one of the few techs trading lower. The commodities remain on fire. Fertilizers are all trading higher. Chesapeake Energy is up 2.5% after selling a stake in the firm to a Chinese oil company. After the first hour the averages remained quiet. Most people probably believe the markets are closed. The bond market is closed today. Through the morning the averages nudged into the green led by commodities and techs. The financials remain quiet. Blackrock is higher on an upgrade. JP Morgan is modestly higher ahead of earnings on Wednesday. A big week for earnings. In the afternoon the averages remained quiet near the unchanged level. In the last hour the Dow fell into the red below 11000 only to rebound into the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 2 points at 11,008 marking the index's second close above 11,000 since early May. The S&P 500 Index finished down 11 cents at 1,165 while the Nasdaq Composite Index edged up 42 cents at 2,402.
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