U.S. stocks open mildly lower as worries about European debt subside and investors focus on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's comments regarding the possibility to expand the Fed's bond-buying program. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 26 points to 11,355. The S&P 500 Index dipped 2 points to 1,221. The Nasdaq Composite declined a point to 2,590. Bernanke's comments are certainly helping the commodities. Gold broke out to new all time high. The other commodities are also performing well. Freeport McMoran is trading at a new 52 week high. Arch Coal is higher on an upgrade. The fertilizers are also performing well. A number of techs are performing well. Apple and Google are higher. Cisco Systems is up 2% on an upgrade from Oppenheimer who indicates the stock has bottomed. Cisco is also the featured stock at Leighbaldwin.com. Rambus is up 4% after lifting their forecast. Texas Instruments and Analog Devices were upgraded, however, both are lower. Sandisk is down 2% on a downgrade. Many of the retailers are modestly higher. American Eagle and Abercrombie & Fitch are higher on upgrades. Barnes and Noble is jumping 18% on rumors of a leveraged takeover. Sprint/Nextel is jumping 5% after a hedge fund manager recommended it on CNBC. Six Flags is up a percent after announcing a dividend. Kellogg is unchanged after reaffirming numbers. Autozone is down a percent even though it was upgraded. Dollar General is dropping 7% following earnings and a disappointing outlook. After the first hour the Nasdaq remains down a point and the Dow is down 17 points. Not much going on so far this morning. The financials are quiet even though Goldman Sachs recommended the group as their best sector for 2011 last Friday. Hopefully they're right. Through the morning the averages remain modestly below the unchanged level. A number of financials are perked up. JPMorgan is in the green thanks to positive comments from Deutsche Bank. In the afternoon the averages slowly improved with more and more stocks moving into the green. In the last hour all the major averages moved into the green only to pull back into the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 19 points at 11,362. The S&P 500 lost a point to 1,223. The Nasdaq Composite ended up 3 points at 2,594.
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