U.S. stocks opened sharply higher Thursday with investors hopeful Ireland would receive funds to avert a financial crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 115 points to 11,123. The S&P 500 Index rose 13 points to 1,192. The Nasdaq Composite added 31 points to 2,507. Strength in the European markets has spread to the US. The US dollar is dropping once again helping lift the commodity plays. Fertilizer firm, CF Industries is jumping 2% on positive quarterly guidance. Freeport McMoran is up 4% this morning. One sector that has performed great all week has been retail. Plenty of better than expected earnings are flooding in this morning from the likes of Limited Brands, American Eagle, Dollar Tree, Staples, Children's Place, and Buckle. Campbell Soup is modestly higher after raising their dividend. A number of retailers are lower following earnings including Sears, William Sonoma, Gamestop, Ross Stores, and BonTon. The biggest retail story today is the IPO of GM. The stock opened shortly after the open, 2 points above the IPO price, pretty much in line with expectations. The techs are bouncing back this morning following a change in opinion regarding NetApp's earnings. The stock dropped sharply before the close last night only to rebound this morning. Autodesk and Motorola are higher on upgrades. Google and Apple look good this morning. Research in Motion was downgraded, however, the stock is higher. Salesforce.com is higher ahead of earnings tonight. The financials are higher for once. Prudential is higher on an upgrade. In the transportation space, Union Pacific is higher after raising their dividend. After the first hour and through the morning the averages remained strong near the highs of the day. In the afternoon the averages continued to move sideways near the highs of the day. In the last hour the averages modestly pull back, but not much. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 173 points, or 1.6%, to end at 11,181, with all but one of its 30 components rising, led by a 3.4% gain in shares of Alco. The S&P 500 index gained 18 or 1.5%, to 1,196.with the energy sector leading the gains. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 39 points or 1.6%, to 2,514.
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