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U.S. stocks opened slightly lower on Thursday, after the Labor Department reported a bigger-than-expected increase in weekly jobless claims. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2 points to 11,983 as shares of Procter & Gamble declined 3.1%, and of AT&T dropped 2.3%. The S&P 500 index opened flat at 1,296. The Nasdaq Composite rose 7 points to 2,747. Thursdays seem to be the biggest day for earnings. In the tech sector Qualcomm, Symantec, and Cypress Semi are all up over 4% on earnings. Motorola's two stocks and Nokia are lower following earnings. It's hard to compete against Apple and Google in the smart phone arena. Corning is higher once again at a new 52 week high. Both Apple and Google are higher. The commodities are having a good day following strong earnings from fertilizer firm Potash. The stock is up 3% after beating estimates, raising guidance, increasing the dividend, and announcing a 3 for 1 stock split. All the fertilizers are higher. Freeport McMoran opened higher, but then sold off. Nucor is lower following earnings. The financials are quiet this morning. First Niagara and Invesco are higher following earnings. Suntrust is higher on an upgrade. GE is at another new high. Janus is lower following earnings. Other companies reporting earnings include Starbucks, Tractor Supply, Netflix, Noble Corp, Under Armour, PG, Jetblue, Bristol Myers, Caterpillar, Balck & Decker, Baxter, Raytheon, DR Horton, Altria, Lockheed Martin, Tyco, Eli Lilly, Time Warner, Arctic Cat, and Briggs Stratton. Arctic Cat and Netflix are up 13%. Tractor Supply is up 6%. Within the first hour the averages sold off and then rallied again. Following the first hour the Dow rose 27 points above 12000 again. The Nasdaq rose 10 points. The S&P 500 rose to 1300 for the first time in 2 and half years. Through the morning the rally unraveled. The Dow fell into the red while the Nasdaq fell back to the unchanged level. The commodities had a nice rebound, but reversed course except for Potash. A very negative sign. In the afternoon the averages recovered a little bit. Ford is up 2% ahead of earnings tomorrow. The financials are all in the green. The commodities are still weak. In the last hour the Dow gave up most of its gains while the Nasdaq remained strong. Microsoft rallied then pulled back into the close after releasing earnings early. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 4 points at 11,989, led by 1.8% gains in General Electric and a 2.9% drop in Procter & Gamble. The S&P 500 rose 2 points to 1,299, led by a 15% rise in the shares of Netflix. The Nasdaq Composite added 15 points to 2,755.
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