U.S. stocks edged higher to start Friday's session, with the government reporting economic expansion gathered steam in the final quarter of 2010, albeit a tad under forecasts. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 6 points to 11,995. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index added nearly a point to 1,300. The Nasdaq Index for some reason is not trading. The earnings keep flooding in with mixed results this morning. The stocks trading lower following earnings including Ford, Chevron, T Rowe Price, Arch Coal, Monster Worldwide, QLogic, Amazon, Sandisk, and Dominion. Ford and Amazon are down over 7%. Monster Worldwide is down 17%. Sara Lee is lower after announcing the much anticipated split up of the company. A couple of companies are trading higher following earnings including KLA Tencor, Rambus, Honeywell, and Invesco. Plenty of upgrades and downgrades this morning. AT&T is lower on a downgrade. Potash is higher thanks to three upgrades. Rival Mosaic is also higher on an upgrade. Another commodity play Halliburton is higher on an upgrade. Rackspace and Nokia are higher on upgrades. GE is at another new high thanks to an upgrade. The financials are one of the best performing sectors so far this morning. After the first hour the Dow fell 35 points. The Nasdaq Index finally opened down 26 points. Besides the earnings disappointments, the riots in the streets of Egypt are not helping things. Through the morning the selling accelerated. The Dow dropped 80 points while the Nasdaq declined 40 points. Not many stocks are left in the green. However the diamond of the day goes to an IT firm Terremark up 35% after Verizon agreed to buy the firm for $1.4 billion. Not bad. In the afternoon the averages moved lower. It looks like we're going to have our first down week for the Dow since the middle of November. About time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average's finished down 166 points, or 1.4%, at 11,823, the biggest drop since Nov. 16th. Microsoft led the Dow decliners with a 3.9% loss. The index ended down 0.4% for the week. The S&P 500 lost 23 points, or 1.8%, to 1,276, led by consumer discretionary stocks including Ford Motor. It lost 0.6% for the week. The Nasdaq Composite fell 68 points, or 2.5%, to 2,686.89 and edged back 0.1% for the week.
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