U.S. stocks open modestly lower on this last trading day before Christmas. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose fractionally to 11,559. The Standard & Poor's Index declined a point to 1,257. The Nasdaq Composite fell 3 points to 2,668. Last night Micron and Bed Bath & Beyond reported earnings. Micron is down 3% after missing estimates while Bed Bath & Beyond is up 6% after easily beating estimates. Bed Bath & Beyond also received an upgrade this morning. One merger before the holiday. Jo-Ann Stores is the diamond this morning, jumping 32% after agreeing to be taken private. Finish Line is modestly higher on an upgrade. Croc's is down 5% after the CFO stepped down to take another job. Elsewhere, the financials are modestly lower. The techs are mixed. Apple and Google are lower, but Research in Motion is higher. The commodities opened lower, but then traded higher. Rowan is up a percent on an upgrade. Alcoa is up 2.5% after CNBC's Jim Cramer recommended it last night. The fertilizers look good. After the first hour the Dow was up 10 points. The Nasdaq declined 7 points. Through the morning the averages remained quiet. Not much business is getting down. In the afternoon the averages drifted into the red. A number of commodities are higher, but that's about it. In the last hour the averages fought back to the unchanged level. The financials are one of the weakest sectors. Back to reality. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 14 points at 11,573, led by Alcoa. The Dow rallied 0.7% for the week. The S&P 500 lost 2 points to 1,256, breaking a streak of five straight session gains, although it did end up a percent for the week. The Nasdaq Composite fell 5 points to 2,665 for the session and rose 0.9% for the week, its fifth week of gains. The Dow and S&P 500 have rallied four straight weeks. Crazy.
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