Why the Dow's Inching Up This Morning

News of Eastman Kodak finally giving up the ghost and filing for bankruptcy protection wasn't enough to dampen favorable earnings news and economic data. Jobless claims fell to their lowest level in almost four years, while inflation came in flat in December, with a modest 0.1% increase in core inflation. Also, in Europe, Spain and France were able to hold long-term bond auctions without incident. Just after 10:15 a.m. EST, the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI  ) were up 2 points to 12,581, while the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC  ) climbed 2 points to 1,310.

The big news from the Dow came from Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) , which jumped 5% after reporting a profit in the fourth quarter of 2011, a turnaround from a year-earlier loss. The bank reported net income to common shareholders of $1.58 billion for the quarter, or $0.15 per share, meeting analyst expectations. B of A also pointed to stronger capital positions as a positive for investors.

Falling in early trade was Pfizer (NYSE: PFE  ) , down about 1%. Yesterday, the company said that it would give up on its Dimebon Alzheimer's candidate drug, as its CONCERT phase 3 study failed to achieve desired results.

Also modestly lower was Home Depot (NYSE: HD  ) . The company's mobile-payments trial with eBay's PayPal is expanding to more than 50 stores across the nation in the coming week. Although the program likely won't have any big impact on Home Depot, it could be a game changer for PayPal in its quest to compete among credit card networks and other payment alternatives.

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Fool contributor Dan Caplinger doesn't own shares of the companies mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter here. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of eBay, Pfizer, and Home Depot, as well as writing puts in eBay. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool has a disclosure policy.


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