Stocks Opened Lower on ECB Loans

U.S. stocks began with modest declines on Wednesday after the European Central Bank said it would lend a record amount to euro-area banks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 46.85 points to 12,056.73. The S&P 500 declined 7.57 points to 1,233.73. The Nasdaq Composite shed 37.99 points to 2,565.74.

The European Central Bank on Wednesday attempted to send a strong signal to financial markets by offering to loan $641 billion to 523 euro-area banks in a massive three-year funding operation.

Shares of BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion Ltd. gained 8% on Wednesday in preopen trade after reports that several major tech firms have considered deals with the firm. Meanwhile, analysts at ThinkEquity upped the shares to buy from hold.

Tokio Marine Holdings Inc. said Wednesday that it has agreed to buy Delphi Financial Group for $2.66 billion, or Y205 billion, in the latest sign of how the yen’s strength is providing Japanese firms with ammunition to hook up with companies outside Japan to offset the dim outlook at home.

Oracle Corp’s earnings fell short of Wall Street’s forecasts for the first time in a decade as software and hardware sales sputtered. Oracle reported profit excluding items of 54 cents per share in its second quarter, ended November 30, missing the average analyst forecast of 57 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Oracle’s software maintenance revenue fell to $3.99 billion in the second quarter from $4.02 billion in the first quarter.

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