Stocks climb slightly despite more earnings pessimism

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Investors are worried that second-quarter earnings, starting with today's announcement by Alcoa (AA), won't justify their brightening outlook on the economy. Oil is falling, too, signaling pessimism about energy consumption that would come along with a recovery. That mood of dismay almost won out today, and the Dow Jones industrial average twice fell sharply before righting itself in the late afternoon to close up 15 points, or 0.2 percent, at 8,178.

Health stocks paced the DJIA: Merck (MRK), Procter & Gamble (PG) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) each rose about 1.5 percent. General Electric (GE) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) were the average's biggest losers.

For more stocks making moves today, be sure to check out BloggingStocks' market wrap-up.
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