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U.S. stocks opened lower on Thursday, with the Standard & Poor's 500 Index extending its largest fall this year, as the quickening growth of China's economy sparked worries it may move further to curb inflation. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 42 points to 11,782. The S&P 500 declined 6 points to 1,275. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 19 points to 2,705. The earnings are flooding in better than expected, but investors are in a selling mood. High flying techs like F5 Networks is down 18% after a slight revenue miss. Another high flyer Salesforce.com is down 5% in sympathy. Juniper is lower even though it was upgraded. Seagate, Fairchild Semi, and Xilinx are all lower following earnings. Even the great Apple is down a percent. One tech, Ebay is up 5% following better than expected earnings. Micron is up 2% on an upgrade. The commodities are getting hit on the chin. Freeport McMoran is down 4% following blow out earnings. The fertilizers are all down over 2%. The financials are mixed this morning. Fifth Third, Huntington Bancshares, and PNC Bank are lower following earnings. Raymond James and Morgan Stanley are higher following earnings. The big banks like Citigroup, JP Morgan, and Wells Fargo are all modestly higher this morning. Other companies reporting earnings this morning include Southwest Airlines, Union Pacific, Johnson Controls, Tyco, Unitedhealth Group, Progressive, and Parker Hannifin. Only Progressive is higher. Wendys is jumping 5% after disclosing they're expected to sell Arbys. In the biotech arena, Mannkind is down 42% after the FDA rejected their insulin inhaler. After the first half an hour the Dow improved, but the rally was short-lived. After the first hour the Dow fell 50 points while the Nasdaq declined 25 points or 1%. The Dow fell 75 points before recovering during the lunch hour. Walmart looks good after announcing price cuts. One sector that is rallying is retail. Dillard is jumping 15% after their management indicated they will create a REIT to hold their real estate holdings to unlock value. It seems to be working. The financials are perking up particularly Visa and Mastercard on revelations the Dodd Frank bill may get tweaked. In the afternoon the Dow actually moved into the green only to fall back into the red in the last hour. The financials are one of the few sectors that look good this afternoon. GE and Bank of America are modestly higher ahead of earnings tomorrow morning. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down just 2 points at 11,822, led by a 2% drop in the shares of Caterpillar. The S&P 500 lost a point to 1,280, led by a more than 1% drop in its material subsector. The Nasdaq Composite fell 21 points to 2,704.
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