U.S. stocks struggle on the open as investors digest quarterly earnings from fast-food giant McDonald's and others. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 13 points to 11,885. McDonalds is trading down a percent. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index inched up a point to 1,284 while the Nasdaq Composite climbed 7 points to 2,696. A quiet start to the day as the averages don't really know which way to go. The financials are lower. Bank of America, Suntrust, and PNC Financial are all lower on cautious analyst comments. The one financial trading higher is GE at a new high following better than expected earnings last Friday. The techs are mixed this morning. Google is lower after a reversal on Friday following earnings. Intel is higher after increasing their share buyback. Xerox, EMC, and HPQ are lower even though all three received upgrades. F5 Networks is down 3% adding to a 25% decline on Friday after missing revenue estimates. Salesforce.com is down 3% after Barrons wrote a negative article while Nvidia is up 7% on a positive Barrons article. After the first hour the averages pushed higher. The Dow rose 55 points to new recent highs. The Nasdaq rose 10 points. The commodities are bouncing back after getting hit last week thanks in part to a decline in the US dollar. The financials remain one of the weakest sectors. The retail space is mixed this morning. JCPenney is jumping 7% after announcing a restructuring and new investments from private equity and a REIT firm. Radio Shack is down 12% after lowering guidance. Through the morning the rally accelerated with the Dow jumping 90 points moving toward 12000. Six Dow components are making new 52 week highs. The Nasdaq jumped 24 points. In the afternoon the averages improved with the Dow rising over 100 points. The Nasdaq remained up a percent. In the last hour the averages pulled back only to rally into the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up108 points at 11,980, led by a 4.1% rise in the shares of Alcoa. It was the index's first triple-digit rise of the year. The S&P 500 gained 7 points to 1,290. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 28 points to 2,717.
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