- Associated Press - Thursday, October 21, 2010

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks have reversed course and given up their big gains in afternoon trading Thursday.

A strengthening dollar and profit-taking have helped drag stocks from the lofty levels they reached earlier in the day. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 38 points in afternoon trading. It had been up as much as 105 points in morning trading after index components Caterpillar Inc., Travelers Cos. and McDonald’s Corp. all beat earnings expectations and AT&T Inc. matched forecasts.

Once again Bank of America Corp. hurt the Dow as it continues to be dogged by worries about whether investors will force the bank to buy back mortgages it originated.

Caterpillar hit a high for the year early in the morning before pulling back. United Parcel Service Inc.’s profit jumped and the shipping company raised its outlook. But it too retreated after coming within $1.00 of hitting its high for the year.

JetBlue Airways Corp. also reported strong earnings only to see its stock approach its 2010 high and then fall.

A stronger dollar has put a crimp in investors’ appetite for riskier assets like stocks and commodities. Gold and oil prices tumbled.

The Dow fell 37.66, or 0.3 percent, to 11,070.31 in afternoon trading. The fall comes after the Dow briefly eclipsed its highest closing level of 2010. It closed at 11,205.03 on April 26.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 6.22, or 0.5 percent, to 1,171.95, while the Nasdaq composite index fell 20.51, or 0.8 percent, to 2,436.88.

Gold dropped $24.00 to $1,320.20 an ounce. Benchmark crude fell $2.21, or 2.7 percent, to $80.33.



Click to Read More

Click to Hide