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Midday Market Update

Stocks Slip; Europe, Earnings in Focus

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U.S. Market
Stocks fell Monday as eurozone concerns came back into a play amid an apparent political scandal in Spain and the country's ability to manage its debt adequately. Treasuries rose as a result, while Spanish bond prices fell

Following last week's employment report, the Conference Board reported its Employment Trends Index for last month fell slightly to 109.38 from an upward revised December reading of 109.47, indicating that employment growth could be slowing for the foreseeable future. 

Meanwhile, December factory orders increased as durable-goods purchases jumped on fears of the then-looming fiscal cliff. 

The Dow and the S&P 500 had each lost 1.0% at midday, while the Nasdaq had fallen by 1.2%. 

Stocks on the Move
 Sysco (SYY) shares had lost nearly 4% by midday after the firm posted an 11.5% drop in second-quarter earnings, which were lower than Wall Street expectations, as food costs continue to rise. 

Higher costs also hurt  Humana's (HUM) fourth-quarter results, but earnings per share of $1.19 were still better than expected. The company also plans to continue capital spending for its integrated-care model. Shares were 4.8% higher at midday.

 Simon Property Group (SPG) saw a drop in fourth-quarter earnings, as well. But shares were up by 0.5% after the firm's funds from operations came in ahead of expectations and the firm announced a dividend increase

 Oracle (ORCL) announced it is acquiring  Acme Packet (APKT) in a near-$2 billion all-cash deal to improve upon Oracle's IP network-delivery operations. The deal should close in the first half of the year. Acme shares had soared by more than 22% by midday, while Oracle shares slipped by 2.4%. 

Foreign Markets
Stocks in Europe struggled on the concerns in Spain. The Paris CAC lost 3.0%, and the DAX fell by 2.5%. The FTSE 100 was 1.6% lower. 

Asian stocks had mixed results Monday, with the Shanghai Composite and the Nikkei 225 gaining 0.4% and 0.6%, but the Hang Seng losing 0.2%. 

Kevin O'Shaughnessy does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.