Stocks are slightly lower at mid-day, taking a breather
following three days of gains although the Dow Jones Industrial
Average is holding onto a 0.3% rise largely supported by three
large technology companies that topped analyst projections with
their quarterly earnings last night. The gains by Microsoft (
), Intel (
) and IBM (
) also are working to offset declines by General Electric Co. (
) and American Express (
), two other Dow components today trading lower after their
revenues in the December quarter failed to meet expectations.
It is a relatively light day for economic news, with sales of
previously owned U.S. homes climbing for a third month during
December to an annualized rate of 4.61 million homes, its highest
level in nearly a year. Commodities are mostly lower, although gold
is up about $4 to $1,658 an ounce.
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