U.S. stocks open near the highs for the year as investors expressed relief after Portugal's sound bond sale and reacted to hopeful signals from the banking sector. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 57 points to 11,729. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 7 points to 1,281. The Nasdaq Composite gained 9 points to 2,726. Plenty of good news this morning. St Jude Medical and Watson Pharma are higher following earnings. ITT is jumping 18% after announcing they will split the firm into three companies. Noble Corp is jumping 4% after being selected to join the S&P 500. Cliffs Natural Resources announced a $5 billion acquisition of a Canadian company. The stock initially sold off last night, but is jumping 4% this morning. The rest of the commodities are performing well. The fertilizers are higher after Cargill reported earnings. Freeport McMoran opened at a new high this morning. Arch Coal is one of the few commodities lower after lowering guidance. The financials are higher thanks to upgrades from Wells Fargo. JP Morgan is up ahead of earnings as their CEO expects to raise their dividend to 75 cents to a dollar in the second quarter. Genworth was downgraded, but the stock is higher. GE is modestly lower on a downgrade. In the tech space IBM, Intel, and Symantec were all upgraded. Intel reports earnings tomorrow. Analog Devices and Sandisk are lower on downgrades. After the first hour the averages remain strong with the Dow rising 80 points breaking out to new highs for the year. The Nasdaq is up 12 points to new highs for the year as well. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages slowly improved with the Dow rising over 100 points. Then Nasdaq declined 15 points. Plenty of companies are making new 52 week highs. In the last hour the averages pulled back from the highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 83 points at 11,755, with JP Morgan leading the advance, up 2.6%, followed by Bank of America up 2%. The S&P 500 index rose 11 points to 1,285 led by a 1.7% advance in financials. The Nasdaq Composite rose 20 points to 2,737.
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