Lower Close Over Middle East Tensions

Middle East tensions weighed the markets down to a modestly lower close with the Dow easing 2 points to 12,977. Nasdaq lost 12 points to 2976.

On the upside

Shares of online review site Yelp (NYSE: YELP) surged on its first day of trading.

Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Hubert reinstated coverage of Fusion-IO (NYSE: FIO) with an Overweight rating.

Fourth quarter earnings fell for Exelis (NYSE: XLS) but the company forecast 2012 results ahead of expectations.

On the downside

CNinsure (Nasdaq: CISG) disappointed by falling to a loss for the fourth quarter.

Motricity (Nasdaq: MOTR) swung to a fourth quarter loss as revenue dropped.

UBS downgraded Monster Worldwide (NYSE: MWW) from a Buy rating to Neutral.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks dropped 12 points to 802.

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