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Midday Market Update

Stocks Cut Losses, Edging Higher

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U.S. Market
Stocks fell early on debt and political concerns in the eurozone and U.S. budget issues, but they were slightly higher at midday after paring earlier losses. 

No major economic data was scheduled Wednesday, but corporate news continued to flow. 

The Dow, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq were each 0.1% higher at midday. 

Stocks on the Move
 Time Warner (TWX) reported a better-than-expected year-over-year gain in fourth-quarter earnings, which rose by 51%. The firm also saw a sharp drop in asset impairment charges. Shares jumped by 4.4% at midday. 

 CVS Caremark (CVS) shares had lost 0.7% by midday as the firm's fourth-quarter profit and revenue slightly beat expectations, though refinancing costs and increased purchases of generics had a negative impact on overall results

 Marathon Oil (MRO) shares were down by 1.3% at midday after the firm posted a 41% drop in fourth-quarter earnings, coming in below Wall Street expectations, as the exploration and production and the oil and mining operations were weak. Revenue still beat expectations. 

After Tuesday's closing bell,  Walt Disney (DIS) reported first-quarter results slightly ahead of expectations, though the firm's studio business saw a sharp drop in income resulting from declining home entertainment and film distribution. Shares were up by 1% at midday. 

Also after market close Tuesday,  Liberty Global (LBTYA) announced it will acquire  Virgin Media (VMED) as each firm's board approved the cash-and-stock deal valued at $23.3 billion that will create one of the world's largest broadband communications operations. However, Liberty's A shares were down by 4.9% at midday, while Virgin shares had slipped by 2.4%. 

Foreign Markets
Eurozone stocks fell on the aforementioned concerns Wednesday, with the Paris CAC and the DAX losing 1.4% and 1.1%. The FTSE 100, however, had gained 0.2%. 

Stocks in Asia were mostly higher following Tuesday's strong U.S. showing. The Shanghai Composite was up by 0.1%, and the Hang Seng gained 0.5%. The Nikkei 225 had jumped by 3.8% on a weaker yen and reports that the governor of the Bank of Japan is leaving his post earlier than expected. 

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