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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Markets Open Down

Wall Street opened down sharply this morning despite higher-than-expected first-quarter earnings from Bank of America, one of the two most troubled big banks (Citibank, which also posted a good first quarter, being the other).

In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow is down 167 points, or 2 percent.

The broader S&P 500 is down 2.3 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq is down 2.4 percent.

Today marks the beginning of the biggest week of earnings for the first quarter, with tech stocks and S&P 500 stocks reporting. Though earnings so far have been better than expected in many cases and the economy is showing some signs of stabilization, many traders seem to feel that the Wall Street rally -- 24 percent on the Dow since the March 9 bottom -- may need to cool off some. Some traders are selling into the rally, taking their profits from the surge, which causes a dip.

But there is no clear consensus on whether the March 9 bottom will hold or if it will be tested in coming weeks.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  April 20, 2009; 10:10 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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