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Stocks steady after trading curbs lifted

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At approximately 02:00 PM EST, program trading curbs were lifted as the Dow Industrials (INDU) 7,613 -1.13% battled back to within 90 points of Friday's close to 7,611.45 and hover near those levels with one hour left in the trading session.

After the program trading curbs were lifted, I did not see any premium alerts triggered to hint that institutions were implementing any further mass program trades as we saw at the open of trading this morning.

We have seen some green begin to show in the various sectors as the Gold/Silver Index (XAU.X) 70.10 +2.17% continues to be the leading sector gain, but off its best levels of 71.21 as the broader markets averages recover from their lows. Meanwhile the Biotechnology Index (BTK.X) 323 +1.8% sector gains have been followed with marginal bullishness from the healthcare sectors and banking groups with the Morgan Stanley Health Providers Index (RXH.X) 317 +0.16% and HMO Index (HMO.X) 540 +0.63% along with banks as depicted by the S&P Banks Index (BIX.X) 274 +0.1% and KBW Banks Index (BKX.X) 702 +1.05%. Dow components Citigroup (NYSE:C) $29.98 +3.37% and JP Morgan (NYSE:JPM) $19.43 +5.5% both bolster the Dow's recovery and BKX.X gains.

Shares of Commonwealth Bankcorp (NASDAQ:CMSB) $46.03 +63.6% surged higher this morning after Citizens Financial Group, part of the RBS Group announced it would acquire the Norristown, PA based bank for approximately $450 million, or $46.50 per share.

After a brutal drubbing on Friday, Dow component Philip Morris (NYSE:MO) $39.63 +4.51% recovers the bulk of Friday's losses on a nice short-covering rally.

Dow technology components Hewlett Packard (NYSE:HPQ) $11.77 -2.07%, IBM (NYSE:IBM) $58.86 -2.3%, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) 14.07 -3.7% and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) $44.57 -1.5% continue to trade heavy.

This afternoon, shares of EMC Corp. (NYSE:EMC) $4.45 -6.8% fell to a new 52-week low after Dow component Hewlett Packard (HPQ) filed a patent infringement lawsuit against EMC alleging that a range of features in EMC's Symmetrix, Clariion, and TimeFinder products infringe up 7 of HPQ's U.S. patents. HPQ seeks monitary damages for past infringement as well as injunctive relief prohibiting EMC from continuing to use the intellectual property protected by the patents.

Jeff Bailey

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