Stocks try to pull it together

July 1, 2008

Stocks stabilized Tuesday morning as investors welcomed a surprise rise in a key manufacturing report and opted to scoop up financials and other issues battered in the recent selloff.

However, any advance on the first day of the third quarter was limited by a continued march higher in fuel prices.

Nearly two hours into the session, the Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) was down modestly. The blue-chip index had tumbled earlier, falling at least 20% off its October highs - the technical definition of a bear market.