U.S. stocks opened lower on Monday as the US dollar gained and investors decide to take some profits after the major averages touched new highs last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 48 points to 11,395. McDonalds is down a percent following disappointing same store sales. The S&P 500 shed 3 points to 1,222. The Nasdaq Composite declined 4 points to 2,574. A quiet morning so far. The commodities are lower following the rise in the US dollar. The fertilizers, Freeport McMoRan, Alcoa, and the steel stocks are all down a percent. A number of oil drillers are higher including Diamond Offshore and Noble Corp. Chemical company, Ashland is jumping 8% after agreeing to sell their distribution arm. Most sectors are lower this morning. In the tech space Intel, Apple, VMware, and Research in Motion are modestly higher. Intel and VMware were upgraded. Yahoo and AOL are higher on rumors of a joint venture. Symantec and Dell are modestly lower after announcing a joint venture. Corning is modestly lower even though it was upgraded. The financials are modestly lower except for Bank of America trading up 1.5%. Berkshire Hathaway is down 1.5% following earnings over the weekend. Metlife is lower even though the stock was upgraded. After the first half an hour the Dow sank further dropping 70 points. The Nasdaq is holding firm down 5 points. A number of downgrades in the retail space has that sector trading lower. Home Depot, Lowes, and Buckle are lower on downgrades. Estee Lauder is lower even though the stock received an upgrade. Sysco Foods is down 3% following earnings. Amazon is modestly lower after making a couple of small acquisitions. Rosetta Resources is jumping 6% on an upgrade. Croc's is jumping 7% on an upgrade. Through the morning the Dow remained in the red down over 50 points. The techs improved pushing the Nasdaq into the green. In the afternoon the Dow remained in the red, but well off the lows. The Nasdaq continued to hug the unchanged level. In the last hour the averages tried to rally,but were unsuccessful. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 37 points at 11,406. The S&P 500 index dropped 2 points to 1,223, with financials weighing the most on the broad average. The Nasdaq Composite rose a point to 2,580.
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