1:00pm (EST)

The market has been in negative territory for much of the day as BP’s (BP, $31.92, up $0.07) CEO, Tony Hayward, is the latest suit-and-tie to sit on Capital Hill’s hot seat.  Also weighing on the market, were a couple of disappointing economic reports as the bears try to get back some momentum that they have lost over the past week.

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If BP’s CEO is going to be judged on facial reactions and body language then he will most likely receive an “F”.  As far as grading the latest jobless claims report, you would have it give it an “F” as well.

Initial claims for jobless benefits rose unexpectedly by 12,000 to 472,000.  This was the highest level in a month after three straight weeks of declines.  The pencil pushers were looking for another drop but the labor market is still struggling to create new jobs and companies seem reluctant to hire.

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A negative report for Regional Manufacturing also hit the bulls as manufacturing activity dropped to 8 from 21.4 the month before.

As a result, the Dow is down 50 points to 10,358 while the S&P 500 is lower by 5 points to 1,109.  The Nasdaq is down 8 points to 2,298.

We have a lot to cover in the Members Area this afternoon as we have updated all of our comments on the current trades.  Notice how the indexes are testing their 200-day averages?  If we close below S&P 1,108 and Nasdaq 2,300 then the bears are still letting it be known they are hanging around.     

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