Up, up, and away. U.S. stocks opened higher on Monday as Wall Street extended its 2010 rise in the first day of trading of the New Year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 94 points to 11,671. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 10 points to 1,268. The Nasdaq Composite rose 26 points to 2,679. Everything looks good this morning. The financials look great. Bank of America is jumping 4% on news the bank is settling with Fannie and Freddie Mac over their collateralized mortgage mess. That's good. Goldman Sachs is up 2% after making an investment in Facebook, valuing the Internet giant at $50 billion. Morgan Stanley, Franklin Resources, and Lazard all received upgrades this morning. The commodities continue to push higher. BP is up 2.5% on an upgrade. Freeport McMoran, Cliffs Natural Resources, Exxon Mobil, Agrium, and Potash are all at new 52 week highs. The rare earth metals are jumping once again. Molycorp is up 9% on an upgrade. Alcoa is up 4% on an upgrade. A number of oil drillers are lower, one of the few groups trading lower this morning. A number of retailers received downgrades this morning. Aeropostale, Under Armour, Tyson Foods, American Eagle, Coach, Tiffanys, and Urban Outfitters are all lower on downgrades. Clorox is down 4% after lowering guidance. Barnes & Noble is up 6% after issuing same store sales. Staples and Office Depot are up over 3% on upgrades. Jos, A Bank is higher on an upgraded. In the tech space Apple and Google look great. Research in Motion looks good even though they received some cautious analyst comments. Intel is lower on a downgrade, but AMD is up 3% on an upgrade. After the first hour the Dow rose over 100 points. The Nasdaq jumped 46 points. So far so good to start the New Year. Through the morning the averages inched higher. No pull backs yet. Ten Dow components are at or just underneath their 52 week high. A real bull market. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages moved sideways near the highs of the day. A few select techs are lower, a number of oils including oil drillers are lower, and a number of retailers are lower, but that's about it. In the last hour we finally saw a little profit-taking, taking us back to where we started the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 93 points at 11,670, marking its highest close since August 2008 and its biggest jump since early December. Blue-chip gains were led by a 6.4% jump in shares of Bank of America shares which agreed to pay $2.6 billion to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to settle claims over loans it sold. The S&P 500 index rose 14 points, or 1.1%, to 1,271, led by a 2.3% jump in the financial sector. The Nasdaq Composite gained 38 points, or 1.5%, to 2,691.
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