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After spending most of the session swimming in the red, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and S&P 500 Index (SPX) were able to eke out minimal gains today, adding to Tuesday's bullish bounce. On the other hand, the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite (COMP) took a slide on disappointing quarterly results and equally bad guidance from Oracle (ORCL). Research In Motion (RIMM), however, was able to escape this fate, ending with a more than 10% gain on acquisition rumors. Meanwhile, downwardly revised home sales from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and word that the European Central Bank (ECB) loaned a record amount to euro-zone banks gave the bulls pause.



After trading in a 120-point range, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA 12,107.74) inched higher today, adding 4.2 points, or 0.03%, to end just off its intraday acme of 12,119.70. Twenty of the Dow's 30 blue chips finished in the black, led by General Electric's (GE) 2.4% uptick, while IBM (IBM) paced the bearish bunch with a 3.1% tumble.

In the same vein, the S&P 500 Index (SPX 1,243.72) tacked on 2.4 points, or 0.2%, by the bell. Conversely, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP 2,577.97) ended the day moderately lower, giving up 25.8 points, or 1%.

Turning to equities in focus, Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA) announced its 2012 forecast and a $2 billion stock buyback ... Nike (NKE) unveiled better-than-predicted fiscal second-quarter results, while CarMax (KMX) reported weaker-than-expected third quarter earnings ... Both Walgreen (WAG) and Jabil Circuit (JBL) confessed to fiscal first-quarter misses ... and today's Quote of the Day comes from Robin Zebrowski of Beloit, Wis. It seems that every Dec. 25, Zebrowski and her husband Joshua take time to remember the works and triumphs of a truly great man by celebrating the joyous occasion of Newtonmas -- the birthday of the 16-century scientist and mathematician Sir Isaac Newton:

"I love that it's a sort of counterpoint to a religious holiday by celebrating science and reason instead of superstition."

But these weren't the only headlines hitting the Street today. Click on the links below for our blog coverage of:

And, in case you missed it, Schaeffer's contributor Adam Warner took a look at the seasonality of the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX). Click here to read the latest installment of our Outside the Box blog.

For today's activity in crude oil, gold futures, options, and more, turn to page 2.

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