U.S. stocks opened lower on Tuesday, bringing the Dow industrials back under 11,000, as a stronger U.S. dollar dented commodities and related shares. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 32 points to 10,978. The S&P 500 Index shed 4 points to 1,161. The Nasdaq Composite declined 6 points to 2,395. For the second day in a row we have a multi-billion dollar merger. Pfizer is buying King Pharmaceuticals for $3.6 billion. King's stock is trading up 40%. The pick up in mergers has caused a number of rumors to circulate as investors are looking for the next takeover target. Avon Products is jumping 6% on such rumors. Office Max is up 4% on rumors of a takeover as well. On the earnings front, Fastenal and Johnson Controls are lower even though both beat estimates. Plenty of upgrades and downgrades this morning. In the tech sector Apple and Google both received two upgrades. Both are trading higher. F5 Networks and Autodesk are higher on upgrades. Intel is modestly higher ahead of earnings tonight. Even Research in Motion is trading higher. Most of the commodities are lower except for the fertilizers. Agrium is up 2% to new highs thanks to an upgrade. After the first half an hour the Dow fell 80 points. The Nasdaq declined 20 points. This is the first real sell off in some time. The financials are modestly higher for once. The banks have really been out of favor. Through the morning the averages slowly improved led by techs and financials. In the afternoon the Nasdaq moved into the green while the Dow remained in the red. The oil drillers are rallying on hopes the deepwater drilling moratorium will soon end. At 2 o'clock, the Fed minutes indicated that the economy remains weak and they, the Fed, are ready to act if needed. The averages rallied following this news anticipating the Fed to do more quantitative easing to help the economy. In the last hour the averages continued to rally with the major averages moving into the green. Resilient market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up10 points at 11,020. The S&P 500 index rose 4 points to end at 1,169. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 15 points to 2,417.
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