Stocks Open Mixed Before Bernanke Speaks
Stocks opened mostly higher this morning in the run up to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's state of the economy report to Congress.
He will deliver his semi-annual assessment to the House Financial Services Comittee starting at 10 a.m. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed today, Bernanke outlined the central bank's exit strategy, or how it will withdraw its monetary stimulus.
“As economic recovery takes hold, we will need to tighten monetary policy to prevent the emergence of an inflation problem down the road,” he wrote.
In the first half-hour of trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 44.44 points, or 0.5 percent. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index dipped 0.88 points, or 0.09 percent. The Nasdaq added 11.38 points, or 0.6 percent.
Several companies are reporting earnings today.
Reporter Dana Hedgpeth reports that Lockheed Martin, the Bethesda-based defense contractor, made $734 million, or $1.88 per share, for the quarter. A year ago Lockheed made $882 million in the same period. Lockheed's stock fell 8.2 percent to $75.38.
Caterpillar, the world's largest construction equipment manufacturer, said its second-quarter profit fell 66 percent. But the company raised its 2009 profit forecast, anticipating that recent signs of stabilization will lead to economic recovery. The company's stock jumped 11.16 percent to $40.74.
Chemical giant Dupont's profit dropped 61 percent in the quarter. But its adjusted earnings still beat Wall Street expectations.
DuPont's shares slid .46 percent to $28.20.
Posted by: JamesRaider | July 22, 2009 2:49 AM | Report abuse
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