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Stocks Creep Their Way Into the Green

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Today's financial recap and tomorrow's financial outlook.

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Following a down open, stocks crept up to finish up on the day.

Stocks dropped initially following the release of the January University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index, which came in at 71.3, missing the consensus forecast of 75.

The Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) was notably weak as Intel (Nasdaq:INTC) fell sharply following Thursday afternoon's fourth-quarter earnings report, which included what appeared to be an overly aggressive capital spending plan. Though this was a company-specific issue, semiconductor stocks fell in sympathy with Intel.

Credit card giant Capital One (NYSE:COF) also took a big hit after missing consensus estimates by an enormous margin.

On the upside, investment bank Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) had a very strong rally after reporting much better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings before the open this morning. This followed competitor Goldman Sachs' (NYSE:GS) impressive earnings report from Wednesday. Additionally, economic bellwether General Electric (NYSE:GE) was a standout following improved earnings and solid growth in industrial order activity.

We also saw solid performance in Chinese stocks following China's announcement of a better-than-expected fourth-quarter GDP of 7.9%.

In Washington, House Republican leaders announced a vote next week for a three-month extension of the debt ceiling limit, with a stipulation that both chambers must pass a budget or not be paid their salaries.

Tuesday's Financial Outlook

Note: The markets will be closed on Monday in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

On Tuesday, we will see a large volume of earnings reports. Notable names include Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Delta Airlines (NYSE:DAL), and Freeport McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) before the open, and Google (Nasdaq:GOOG) and IBM (NYSE:IBM) after the close.

There are no US economic releases on the calendar.

Twitter: @Minyanville

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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