After a great first day of the trading year, investors are taking a break today. Concerns in Europe are once again coming to the forefront, as the euro slipped back below the key $1.30 mark as Spain reportedly considered applying to the International Monetary Fund and the eurozone's bailout fund for loan financing. Meanwhile, European commercial lenders put a record high amount of overnight deposits into the European Central Bank.
Around 2:15 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI) were up just 3 points to 12,400, while the S&P 500 was down 1 point at 1,276.
Among leading stocks, Microsoft (NAS: MSFT) topped the Dow's advancers, gaining about 2%. News that Yahoo! named a new CEO may be having a positive effect on the stock, as Yahoo! has a search-engine partnership with Microsoft. The software giant also sued a major U.K. retailer over allegations of selling counterfeit system recovery CDs.
Pfizer (NYS: PFE) was among losing stocks in the Dow. A court ruled that the drug company will have to pay more than $45 million in damages to two women who suffered from breast cancer after taking Prempro and related menopause drugs made by Pfizer and its operating units. The court upheld a jury verdict against Pfizer. In November, the company said it had reserved about $840 million to resolve cases related to the menopause drugs.
In other Dow news, AT&T (NYS: T) rose despite reaching a costly patent settlement with TiVo (NAS: TIVO) . The terms of the settlement involve payments of at least $215 million between now and mid-2018, with the first payment of $51 million having come due yesterday. While a relatively small amount for the telecom giant, the settlement is substantial compared to TiVo's organic revenue, which is forecast for $48 million to $50 million in the fourth quarter.
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At the time thisarticle was published 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 Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Microsoft and Pfizer, as well as creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft. 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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