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U.S. stocks on Tuesday struggled to shake off mild opening losses, with Wall Street mulling whether to extend a climb that had the major indexes on Monday finishing at multiyear highs. Investors were considering the potential impact of another rate hike by China, corporate earnings and M&A activity. The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 3 points to 12,165. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index dipped a point to 1,317 while the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 2 points to 2,781. A couple of sectors opened modestly lower including the financials and the commodity space. UBS and Arcelor Mittal are higher following earnings. Hartford is modestly higher on an upgrade. Genworth is down 2% on a downgrade. The techs continue to shine. Apple and IBM are at new highs on upgrades. Google is also higher. Sandisk is up 3% on an upgrade. Netgear is lower even though it was upgraded. The chips are one of the few sectors within the techs that are trading lower. There is one merger this morning in the healthcare space. Rehabcare is jumping 45% after agreeing to be acquired by Kindred Healthcare for $1.3 billion. Kindred is also trading sharply higher. Coventry Health and Teva Pharma are down over 3% following earnings. After the first hour the averages moved into the green. That didn't take long. McDonalds is jumping 3% within the Dow thanks to strong global sales. Through the morning the Dow improved rising 40 points to a new high of 12200 thanks in part to a revival in the financials. The techs have pulled back with the Nasdaq up only 2 points. In the afternoon the averages moved sideways near the highs of the day, surging in the last hour. A select number of techs look good like Apple, Google, and IBM. The rest of the sector is quiet. The financials have improved markedly. The commodities are in the red. The averages once again rallied into the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 71 points at 12,233, its seventh straight day of gains, for its longest winning streak since mid-July. It was the highest close since mid-June 2008. McDonald's led the blue-chip average with a 2.6% rise. The S&P 500 gained 5 points to 1,324. The Nasdaq Composite ended up 13 points at 2,797.
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