Stocks Slip After European Markets End Year Lower

The markets slipped during the midday with the Dow losing 35 points to 12,251 on a quiet trading day after many European markets ended the year lower. Nasdaq added a point to 2614.

On the upside

J.P. Morgan said that Leap Wireless (Nasdaq: LEAP) and MetroPCS (NYSE: PCS) may be potential acquisition targets for AT&T (NYSE: T).

Radian Group (NYSE: RDN) replaced the severance agreement that subsidiary Radian Guaranty president Teresa Bryce Bazemore had with one that is in alignment with arrangements for other executive officers.

StreetAuthority listed HCA Holdings (NYSE: HCA) as a recently public company whose current stock price is now at least 25% below its offering price that will rebound in 2012.

On the downside

Federal District Court Judge Jed S. Rakokk said that both the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as Citigroup (NYSE: C) mislead the court in the SEC's fraud case against Citigroup.

Sharply lower natural gas prices weighed down shares of Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM).

Chinese ethanol producers launched an investigation into distiller's dried grains exports by Pacific Ethanol (Nasdaq: PEIX) and other U. S. ethanol companies.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 9 to 7 on the NYSE while advancers barely edged out decliners by a slim margin on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks edged up a fraction to 745.

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