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U.S. stocks fell, after the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed to the highest closing level since May, as investors weighed developments in Europe’s efforts to tame its debt crisis.
European officials will forge ahead today with crafting a plan to tackle the debt crisis, as banking and government negotiators continue trying to reach a deal that will lighten Greece’s debt burden. Bondholders negotiating a debt swap with Greece have made their “maximum” offer, leaving it to the European Union and International Monetary Fund to decide whether to accept the deal, the negotiator for private creditors said.
Dow 12,676.28 -44.20 -0.35%, Nasdaq 2,777.37 -9.33 -0.33%, S&P 500 1,312.38 -3.00 -0.23%
Halliburton slumped 3.9 percent to $34.79. The company posted a decline in its fourth-quarter operating margin in North America as companies cut natural-gas drilling. It reported a profit margin of 27.2 percent for the region, its largest, down from 29 percent in the past two quarters, according to a statement today.
Research In Motion tumbled 6.5 percent to $15.90. The BlackBerry maker replaced co-Chief Executive Officers Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis with an insider who said he sees no need for radical change as the company struggles to compete with Apple Inc. (AAPL) Thorsten Heins, a chief operating officer who joined RIM four years ago from Siemens AG, will replace the pair in the CEO post effective immediately, RIM said.
Among financial companies, Bank of America Corp. rose 1.3 percent to $7.17, after rallying 4.2 percent earlier.
Chesapeake Energy gained 3.9 percent to $21.77. Gross production at wells it operates will be cut by as much as 1 billion cubic feet a day and the Oklahoma City-based company will defer gas-well completions wherever possible. Planned spending on gas wells will fall 70 percent from 2011 levels, to $900 million.
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