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Wednesday, 25 January 2012 | 00:00
DJ30 PointChange: -33.07 Level: 12675.75 NASDAQ PointChange: +2.47 Level: 2786.64 NQ100 PercentChange: -0.1 R2K PercentChange: +0.7 SP400 PercentChange: +0.4 SP500 PointChange: -1.37 Level: 1314.63 NASDAQ-Adv:1491 Dec: 1000 NYSE-Adv:1619 Dec: 1376

[BRIEFING.COM] The broad market was sold in the early going, but it managed to pare its loss by session's end. The effort was sluggish and generally without leadership.

Disappointment and frustration related to ongoing wrangling between Greece and its creditors sent stocks lower immediately after the open, but the major averages were able to find support before losses became too great. Stocks spent the next couple of hours working their way up from those early lows, but momentum eventually slowed so that stocks were left to drift sideways into the close.

The action was similar to that of the euro, which was able to fully recover from an early loss, but failed to generate enough momentum to move into positive territory.

Tech had appeared to be a source of leadership as it fought its way up to a modest gain, but its efforts were checked. The largest sector by market weight spent the rest of the day dancing along the neutral line before it eked out a narrow gain. Texas Instruments (TXN 32.54, -0.65) was a heavy drag, despite a better-than-expected earnings report. Western Digital (WDC 36.88, +2.17) was among the session's best performers overall following an upside earnings surprise of its own.

Market participants also had varied responses to better-than-expected results from blue chips Johnson & Johnson (JNJ 65.00, +0.00), DuPont (DD 49.41, +0.06), and McDonald's (MCD 98.75, -2.20). Fellow Dow components Travelers (TRV 58.00, -2.29) and Verizon (VZ 37.79, -0.61) both traded lower after they posted earnings that came short of what had been widely expected.

Coach (COH 67.97, +3.73) shares climbed aggressively to an all-time high after it announced earnings that exceeded what Wall Street had estimated. The stock helped give the consumer discretionary sector a 0.4% gain, which is better than what any other sector accomplished.

Although the Fed began its two-day meeting today, there weren't any economic releases. That may have weighed on participation, which was especially poor today -- less than 750 million shares were traded on the NYSE.

An auction of 2-year Notes drew a bid-to-cover ratio of 3.75, dollar demand of $131.3 billion, and an indirect bidder participation rate of 32.9%. For comparison, an average of the past six auctions results in a bid-to-cover ratio of 3.58, dollar demand of $125.4 billion, and an indirect bidder rate of 33.1%.

Advancing Sectors: Consumer Discretionary +0.4%, Health Care +0.1%, Tech +0.1%, Industrials +0.1%
Unchanged: Materials
Declining Sectors: Financial -0.2%, Energy -0.3%, Consumer Staples -0.4%, Utilities -0.8%, Telecom -1.3%

Source: Briefing

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