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

Stocks open positive but then go flat

Stocks opened higher this morning but then quickly turned flat following some good merger activity and earnings numbers.

In the first 20 minutes of trading, the Dow is down less than one-tenth of 1 percent.

The broader S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq are down by less, dipping their heads just underwater, essentially trading flat.

Oilfield services firm Schlumberger said it will buy Smith International for $11.3 billion in an all-stock deal that tells the bulls that the M&A market may be waking from its slumber. Or perhaps "Schlumber."

In other news, Lowe's beat fourth-quarter earnings expectations, but this is not necessarily a sign of a housing recovery. It could mean that people are not buying new houses but are fixing up old ones.

Follow me on Twitter at @theticker

By Frank Ahrens  |  February 22, 2010; 9:50 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker , Wall Street  | Tags: Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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