Updated from 2:54 p.m. EDT
As for the Dow, it was recently losing 67 points at 8010. Earlier it went under 8000. Only nine components were on the plus side, led by GM's ( GM) 19% gain. Boeing ( BA) followed, and it was up just 1.5%. The financials have turned down, with American Express ( AXP) having the steepest decline in the group, losing 5.2% to $23.99. DuPont ( DD) was the weakest overall, falling 5.4% to $27.22. Still, considering we're dealing with worries about the spread of swine flu, and that traders were rattled by a poorly thought-out photo op involving planes flying uncomfortably close to lower Manhattan this morning, it could be worse.
At any rate, about 90 minutes in, the Dow was up 35 points at 8111, and 16 of its 30 components were in the green. The best performer on a percentage basis was General Motors ( GM), up 30% to $2.19 on the newest details about its restructuring and debt-swap plans. Verizon ( VZ) offered up promising numbers before the opening bell, though it was on the losing side. Still, it was barely down, giving back 20 cents at $30.80. For the most part, the individual industrial stocks weren't moving a great deal. DuPont ( DD) was down 3.7% to $27.73, and Pfizer ( PFE) was up 2.1% at $13.45. That was about it. Merck ( MRK), the other drugmaker, was barely changed. As for the banks, Citigroup ( C) was off 1.9%, while JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) and Bank of America ( BAC) rose fractionally. Speaking of BofA, interesting article over in The Wall Street Journal about John Thain. Looks like the former CEO at Merrill Lynch can hit back after all.