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U.S. stocks rose at the open on Thursday as investors cheered a spate of upbeat earnings reports and a drop in jobless claims. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 51 points to 11,160. Among blue chips, Caterpillar, McDonald's, and Travelers are higher following earnings. AT&T is modestly lower following earnings. The S&P 500 index advanced 6 points to 1,184. The Nasdaq Composite rose 16 points to 2,474. The transportation stocks remain on fire. UPS, Southwest, Jetblue, and United Continental are higher following earnings. In the tech sector Ebay is jumping 9% following earnings. Lam Research, Xerox, and Nokia are higher following earnings. The retail space is mixed. Netflix is jumping 13% following earnings. Childrens Place is down 11% after cutting their outlook. Kellogg is lower after lowering guidance. Saks is up 6% as a private equity firm builds up a stake to possibly take the retailers private. The financials are higher except for Bank of America. That stock can't get out of its' own way. Suntrust and PNC are up over 2% thanks to better than expected earnings. The commodities continue to perform well. Freeport McMoran easily beat estimates and raised their dividend for the third time this year. Not bad. The stock is up 3%. Diamond Offshore is higher following earnings. Chevron is higher after announcing a $7.5 billion project in the Gulf of Mexico. One commodity not performing well is steel. Nucor is down 3% after reporting profits. After the first hour the Dow rose 90 points to within 50 points of the yearly highs. The Nasdaq rose 22 points. Through the morning the rally started to fizzled. During the lunch hour the Nasdaq fell back to the unchanged level. By the middle of the afternoon the Dow fell into the red. However, in the last hour the Dow was about to rebound into the green thanks to Home Depot, McDonalds, and United Tech. Bank of America remains the weakest component down 3% today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 38 points at 11,146. The S&P 500 index rose 2 points to 1,180. The Nasdaq Composite gained 2 points to 2,459.
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