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US Markets Open This Week Mixed Following Record Gains


U.S. stock market indexes opened with slight gains in early trading Monday after a week of record gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose more than 150 points on Friday to post its third straight record close in one week. Although the index of 30 U.S. companies remains at historically high levels, investors started the week on a cautious note.

VOA's Mil Arcega reports.

Smiles and applause accompanied Friday's closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange as the Dow ended the week with another record close. The blue chip index came within 40 points of the 13,000 mark after investors reacted enthusiastically to a series of better than expected earnings reports.

Market strategist Alan Skrainka explains. "The good news is outweighing the bad news, and the market is moving higher because the good news is: earnings have been very solid.

Despite a slowing U.S. economy, positive first quarter results from Google, eBay and heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar helped ease investor concerns.

Skrainka says the market rally suggests things are not as bad as they seem. "The market was very fearful that the housing industry would send us into a recession. Many of those investors who were worried about a market decline, now are fearful of missing out on this big rally."

But the markets were a bit more cautious Monday. Some investors are skeptical the market will be able to extend last week's record streak.

Analysts say although the major U.S. stock indexes are at their highest levels in six years, many of the same concerns that sent the Dow tumbling two months ago remain: high inflation, a weak dollar and a sluggish housing market.

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