U.S. stocks open higher once again following a great start to the New Year on Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 16 points to 11,686. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index inched up a point to 1,272. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 6 points to 2,697. Shortly after the open, the sellers stepped in bringing the averages down to the unchanged level. The financials are modestly lower even though analysts made some positive comments on Bank of America, Suntrust, and RBS. The financials were one of the leading sectors yesterday. One hot sector of late that's trading lower is the commodities. Freeport McMoran, Agrium, Silver Wheaton, and a number of oil drillers are lower. Alcoa and Potash are higher on upgrades. Alcoa reports earnings next Monday. One rare earth metal stock, Molycorp is jumping 6% this morning, but the rest of the rare earth stocks are modestly lower. The retail sector is mixed. The grocery store companies Supervalu, JM Smucker, and Safeway are down over 4% on downgrades this morning. Nike is lower after being removed from Goldman's buy list. Dicks, Polo, Best Buy, Amazon, and Carnival are higher on upgrades. GM is unchanged on an upgrade. The techs are mixed this morning. Apple and Qualcomm are higher on upgrades. Google, IBM, and Corning are lower. The chips are higher. AMD and Micron are modestly higher after introducing new chips. Motorola split into two firms today. Motorola Solutions is modestly lower, but Motorola Mobility which owns the DROID and set top boxes is jumping 8%. Not bad. After the first hour the averages held near the unchanged level. Through the morning the averages kept looking like they were going to sell off, but didn't. Then during the lunch hour the Dow fell 31 points while the Nasdaq declined 26 points. A few stocks remain in the green. GM is higher thanks to strong December sales. Alcoa and Cliffs Natural Resources are higher in the commodity space. After the Fed minutes at 2 o'clock, the averages rebounded with the Dow moving back into the green. The Nasdaq remains stuck in the red. In the last hour the Dow was about to hold on to its gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 20 points at 11,691. Blue-chip gains were led by a 4.6% rise in shares of aluminum giant Alcoa after receiving positive analyst comments Monday following a year of restructuring its operations. The S&P 500 index, the broad market gauge, however fell a point to 1,270, weighed down by the energy and consumer discretionary sectors. The Nasdaq Composite fell 10 points to 2,681.
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