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Stocks End Flat Before ECB Policy Meet; Zynga (ZNGA) Surges

 February 06, 2013 04:11 PM

(By Balachander) U.S. stocks ended on a flat note as investors weighed a batch of mixed corporate earnings reports and await policy statement from the European Central Bank (ECB).

The S&P 500 Index rose 0.05 percent to end at 1,512.12. The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched 0.05 percent higher to finish at 13,986.37. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 0.10 percent to close at 3,168.48.

With no major U.S. economic data released for the day, investors digested a set of corporate news ahead of the ECB announcement on Thursday.

The ECB is expected to keep the benchmark interest rate at a record low 0.75 percent. Investors expect ECB President Mario Draghi to address recent concerns over the euro's strength.  


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In corporate news, Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) advanced 4.10 percent after the media and entertainment company reported a 51 percent jump in fourth-quarter earnings and raised its quarterly dividend by 11 percent.

Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) added 2.55 percent after the maker of diesel engines reported quarterly earnings and revenue that topped market forecasts.

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Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) jumped 5.75 percent. The online video-streaming company announced a movie licensing agreement with Queen Latifah's film company.

Ralph Lauren Corp. (NYSE: RL) jumped 5.89 percent after the apparel company issued an upbeat forecast following a jump in third-quarter profit.

GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME) slumped 6.01 percent amid a report that Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) next generation of Xbox game consoles will require an Internet connection to operate.

C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc. (NASDAQ: CHRW) tumbled 9.71 percent after the freight transportation services company reported quarterly earnings that trailed market expectations.

Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA) surged 9.12 percent after the online social gaming company reported an unexpected profit for the fourth quarter amid flat revenue and sharp drop in expenses.

Virgin Media Inc. (NASDAQ: VMED) shed 1.58 percent after Liberty Global Inc. (NASDAQ: LBTYA) agreed to acquire the communications services company for roughly $23.3 billion in cash and stock. LBTYA shares fell 2.68 percent.   

Global Markets

European markets ended mixed, with Germany's DAX down 1.09 percent to close at 7,581.18. France's CAC40 retreated 1.40 percent to finish at 3,642.90. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 rose 0.20 percent to end at 6,295.34.

Among Asian markets, China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index rose 0.06 percent to close at 2,434.48. Japan's Nikkei 225 jumped 3.77 percent to finish at 11,463.75. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index added 0.47 percent to end at 23,256.93. India's BSE Sensex ended 0.10 percent lower at 19,639.72. 

Commodity & Currency Scan

Crude oil futures added 0.10 percent to $96.73 per barrel and natural gas futures climbed 1.09 percent to $3.44 per million metric British thermal units. Gold futures rose 0.29 percent to $1,678.40 per ounce while silver futures slid 0.13 percent to $31.83 per ounce.

In the currency market, the euro lost 0.46 percent against the U.S. dollar at 1.3520. The British pound inched up 0.02 percent against the greenback to 1.5662, while the dollar fell 0.11 percent against the Japanese yen to 93.5300.

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