Day Traders Diary
10/18/10U.S. stocks tallied modest Monday gains after an index of homebuilder sentiment climbed in October from the month before, the first rise in five months. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 38 points to 11,101. The S&P 500 Index inched up 2 points to 1,178. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 3 points to 2,472. Another Monday and another merger. St Jude is buying AGA Medical for $1.3 billion. AGA Medical is jumping 40%. Not bad. Speaking of jumping, Apple and Google keep pushing higher. IBM is at a new high ahead of earnings tonight. Altera is down 2% on a downgrade. The financials remain under pressure due to uncertainties regarding the mortgage securitization mess. Citigroup is actually higher after beating earnings estimates by a penny. AIG is higher on an upgrade. Huntsman is jumping 4% on an upgrade. In the retail space, Hasbro is up 5% on earnings. JC Penney is down 3% after initiating a poison pill to discourage a takeover. The commodities are modestly lower as the US dollar trades up. Halliburton is down 5% following earnings. After the first hour the averages improved with the Dow up over 50 points. The Nasdaq is modestly in the green. Not many down days. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages remained strong. The commodities remain one of the few sectors trading lower. In the middle of the afternoon the banks got a bid when Bank of America said they will resume housing foreclosures. Bank of America rallied 3% lifting the financials and the Dow itself. In the last hour the Dow rose as much as 90 points before pulling back into the close. The Nasdaq is strong thanks to Apple and Google. Apple reports earnings after the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 80 points at 11,143, led by a 3% gain in shares of Bank of America. The S&P 500 index rose 8 points to 1,184. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 11 points to 2,480.
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