Stocks Opened with Mild Declines After Italy Auction

U.S. stocks wade in the red early Wednesday after two successful Italian bond auctions raised hopes that Italy will be able to roll over billions of euros of its debt this year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 39.35 points to 12,252.00. The S&P 500 Index shed 5.01 points to 2,611.85. The Nasdaq Composite declined 13.35 points to 2,611.85.

The Bank of Italy said the average yield on its €9 billion ($11.8 billion) six-month offering was 3.251 percent, half the 6.504 percent rate it had to pay at the equivalent auction last month. In an auction of two-year bills, the yield fell to 4.853 percent from 7.814 percent last month.

Of the 1,600 job cuts announced earlier this month by Morgan Stanley, 580 will be at its home base in New York. Citigroup, with its headquarters a seven-minute drive up Park Ave. from Morgan Stanley in Manhattan, said recently that it would eliminate 4,500 jobs, or about 1.5 percent of its global work force of 267,000, over the next few quarters.

Netflix Inc and Gap Inc were among the worst performers in customer satisfaction among the largest online retailers this holiday season, according to a survey released on Wednesday.

The New York Times Co said it will sell 16 regional newspapers spread across the U.S. Southeast and California to Halifax Media Holdings for $143 million in cash as it looks to cut costs and focus on its most important papers and their websites.

Flaws in a widely used wireless technology could allow hackers to gain remote control of phones and instruct them to send text messages or make calls, according to an expert on mobile phone security.

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