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U.S. stocks opened mostly lower, with only the technology sector gaining after a report on economic growth showed tepid growth in the third quarter. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 14 points to 11,099. The S&P 500 Index fell a point to 1,182. The Nasdaq Composite gained 3 points to 2,511. The techs in general look pretty good this morning. Microsoft is up over 2% following earnings. BMC Software is up 6% following earnings. KLA-Tencor is higher as well following earnings. IBM is pushing back toward its 52 week high. Research in Motion is acting much better. Elsewhere, Monster Worldwide is jumping 31% following earnings. Coinstar is jumping 22% after beating estimates last night. Decker Outdoors is up 6% thanks to strong sales of UGGs. Another couple of retailers Estee Lauder and Pilgrims Pride are both up over 6% following earnings. A number of stocks are trading lower following earnings including Chevron, Merck, Newell Rubbermaid, First Solar, Overstock.com, and Genworth. Genworth is down 14% due in part to the housing woes. The financials are mostly lower. Morgan Stanley is unchanged on an upgrade. After the first half an hour the Dow remained in the red while the Nasdaq clung to the green. The diamond of the day goes to Vivus trading up 26% even though the FDA rejected their weight loss drug, Qnexa once again. The reason the stock is trading up is because the FDA handed Vivus an olive branch instructing them to crunch through existing Qnexa data to come up with new analyses of the drug's cardiovascular and birth-defect risk. The response can be submitted to the FDA within six weeks which sets up the potential for another FDA approval decision date for Qnexa in the middle of 2011. Keep your fingers crossed. After the first hour all three major averages moved into the green, but the rally did not last. Through the rest of the morning the Dow fell back into the red while the Nasdaq hugged the unchanged level. In the afternoon the averages attempted another rally. The Dow moved into the green with IBM surging 2% to new highs. Commodities have also rebounded, but the financials are dudes. In the last hour the averages held on to modest gains to end the month. Two great months in a row. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 4 points at 11,118, ending up 3.1% for the month, its best October since 2006. The S&P 500 index fell 52 cents to 1,183.26. For the week, it rose 0.02% and gained 3.7% for the month, marking its best October since 2003. The Nasdaq Composite rose 4 cents to 2,507. For the week, the Nasdaq gained 1.1% and it jumped 5.9% for the month, also its best October since 2003.
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