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Midday Market Update

Stocks Slightly Lower on Slow News Flow

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U.S. Market    
Stocks were mostly lower at midday on light news volume as most major markets in Asia were closed Monday and the Northeast digs out of this weekend's winter storm. 

Separately, the G-7 could issue a statement prior to next weekend's G-20 summit to ease fears of a possible currency war and to show that the seven nations remain committed to market-determined exchange rates. 

The Dow and the Nasdaq were each 0.1% lower at midday, while the S&P 500 was flat. 

Stocks on the Move
 Loews (L) reported a year-over-year loss in the fourth quarter of $32 million compared with a profit of $271 million the same time last year. The firm's results were negatively affected by Hurricane Sandy-related losses in its majority-owned insurance business,  CNA Financial (CNA), which posted a loss of $9 million compared with net income of $190 million in last year's comparable quarter. Loews shares were down by 0.8% at midday, and CNA shares had fallen by 0.4%. 

However,  Boardwalk Pipeline Partners (BWP), of which Loews holds a 20% stake, posted a 26% gain in fourth-quarter earnings per share compared with the same time last year, and revenue also improved by 8.2%. Boardwalk shares sought direction but were 0.6% higher at midday. 

 Novo Nordisk (NVO) shares plunged by more than 14% after the firm received a request from the Food and Drug Administration to conduct additional data and tests for its Tresiba insulin products. The move could delay the launch of Tresiba products in the United States, though they have been approved in the European Union.

Foreign Markets
European stocks were mixed with the DAX losing 0.2% and the FTSE 100 gaining 0.2%. The Paris CAC was flat. 

Most major indexes in Asia were closed Monday on account of holidays. 

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