Updated from 7:54 a.m. EDT
The U.S. stock market opened a tad higher Wednesday as several financial stocks rallied and the crude oil prices backed off slightly.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 20 points at 11,402, and the
was climbing 4 points to 1288. The
was rising 6 points to 2311.
were on the rise as the firms said they won't need fresh capital to improve their balance sheets. Shares of both banks have been declining recently on persistent credit crunch-related worries.
Among U.S. companies,
is once again working to ink a deal to get
search business, according to a report in
The Wall Street Journal
. Yahoo! was up 7%.
Several companies offered updates to their turnaround strategies. Latte maker
announced late Tuesday that it would be closing 600 of its U.S. stores in an effort to turn around the franchise, effectively ending an era of rapid growth for the company. It will also probably cut several thousand jobs. Shares were up 1.2%.
Meanwhile, video rental chain
( BBI) said it was no longer planning to buy flagging electronics retailer
. The proposed deal had been worth more than $1 billion. The stock surged 15%.
Analyst actions may have some bearing on certain financial stocks' moves.
Fifth Third Bancorp
got a Robert W. Baird upgrade to outperform from neutral. On the other hand, RBC Capital Markets cut its price targets for
Bank of America
. Fifth Third was gaining substantially, while Wells Fargo and Bank of America were ticking slightly higher.
cut its 2008 earnings estimates, citing increased Medicare costs and declines in commercial business.
, which helped the market rally from an early selloff Tuesday, suffered a Merrill Lynch downgrade to underperform from buy. Merrill cut its price target for GM to $7 from $28 and said the company needs $15 billion in additional capital. GM sunk 3.9% out of the gate.
As for commodities, crude oil was recently down 18 cents at $140.79. Gold was falling $3.60 to $940.90.
In economic data, the ADP nonfarm payroll numbers showed that the U.S. lost 79,000 jobs in June, a much bigger decline than economists' prediction of 20,000. The estimated change in employment for May was revised down to an increase of 25,000 jobs from 40,000. On Thursday, the Labor Department will issue its monthly report, a data set that often moves the market.
The Census Bureau will also be offering May factory orders, which analysts expect to increase 0.5%. The June 28 crude inventories number will give some insight into where oil prices can go from here.
Treasuries were rising. The 10-year note was up 6/32 to yield 3.98%, and the 30-year added 16/32, yielding 4.52%. The dollar was weaker against the euro, but gaining on the yen and the pound.
Abroad, European markets were slightly stronger, while Asia's exchanges suffered. The FTSE in London and the DAX in Frankfurt were both higher, while the Tokyo's Nikkei and Hong Kong's Hang Seng were down more than 1%.