US open: Stocks decline early on, Google provides a drag

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NKE74.03+0.93

LONDON (ShareCast) - US stocks started Monday's session in negative territory as the focus turned to a meeting of finance ministers in the Eurozone.

The Eurogroup is expected to discuss the need (and possible modalitie) of a bailout of Cyprus and its banks. Also on the agenda may be the recent sharp moves in currency markets, especially ahead of this week's meeting of G20 finance ministers, where the matter is expected to be discussed.

"The markets will be specifically looking for any news releases as to the next plan-of-action policy officials will take in order to ensure the Eurozone debt crisis remains under control," said financial trader Shavaz Dhalla from Spreadex.

Meanwhile in US news, according to a Democratic party aide cited by Bloomberg, Senate Democrats are close to proposing a $120bn plan for a 10-month delay in spending cuts set to begin March 1st, the so-called 'sequestration'.

That comes after weekend remarks from Democrats and Republicans which show they still remain divided on whether new increases in taxes remain necessary.

Google (NasdaqGS: GOOG - news) falls on Schmidt sale

Internet giant Google was under pressure early on after saying late Friday that its Chairman Eric Schmidt is planning to offload nearly half of his shares in the firm for around $2.5bn.

The company said that the sale of 3.2m shares of his Class A stock, equal to 42% of his stake, will take place over the next year.

Sector peer AOL (NYSE: AOL - news) surged after RBS Capital Markets upgraded its rating on the stock from 'sector perform' to 'outperform' and raised the target price from $40 to $45. Sports apparel and equipment group Nike (NYSE: NKE - news) also gained after JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM - news) upped its stance from 'neutral' to 'overweight'.

Meanwhile, retail group Kroger Co was performing well after Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS-PB - news) raised its recommendation from 'sell' to ' neutral'.

Other markets

In morning trade in New York, the euro/dollar was up 0.03% at 1.3369.

Front-month Brent crude futures were down $0.95 dollars at the $117.91-a-barrel level on the ICE.


S&P 500 - Risers
Hospira Inc (NYSE: HSP - news) . (HSP) $35.26 +2.20%
Moody's Corp. (MCO) $44.24 +2.01%
Nike Inc. (NKE) $55.61 +1.87%
Perrigo Company (NasdaqGS: PRGO - news) (PRGO) $110.27 +1.82%
Harley-Davidson Inc. (HOG) $53.76 +1.70%
CSX Corp (NYSE: CSX - news) . (CSX) $22.32 +1.59%
Tesoro Corp. (TSO) $54.65 +1.47%
Kroger Co. (KR) $28.57 +1.31%
CONSOL Energy Inc (NYSE: CNX - news) . (CNX) $32.13 +1.26%
McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. (MHP) $43.09 +0.98%

S&P 500 - Fallers
Amgen Inc (Xetra: 867900 - news) . (AMGN) $85.35 -1.64%
Newfield Exploration Co (NYSE: NFX - news) (NFX) $29.28 -1.38%
Constellation Brands Inc (NYSE: STZ - news) . Class A (STZ) $31.42 -1.35%
Netflix Inc (NasdaqGS: NFLX - news) . (NFLX) $178.73 -1.24%
Estee Lauder Co. Inc. (EL) $61.98 -1.23%
Fifth Third Bancorp (NasdaqGS: FITB - news) (FITB) $16.42 -1.14%
Newmont Mining Corp (NYSE: NEM - news) . (NEM) $44.42 -1.14%
Hess Corp. (HES) $66.61 -1.13%
WellPoint Inc (NYSE: WLP - news) . (WLP) $65.54 -1.12%
Sigma-Aldrich Corp. (SIAL) $76.80 -1.11%

Dow Jones I.A - Risers
Cisco Systems Inc (NasdaqGS: CSCO - news) . (CSCO) $21.31 +0.71%
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) $27.67 +0.45%
Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE - news) . (PFE) $26.93 +0.20%
United Technologies Corp (NYSE: UTX - news) . (UTX) $90.27 +0.20%
Merck & Co. Inc (Xetra: A0YD8Q - news) . (MRK) $41.23 +0.12%
Walt Disney Co. (DIS) $54.71 +0.09%
AT&T Inc. (T) $35.29 +0.06%
Caterpillar Inc (NYSE: CAT - news) . (CAT (Taiwan OTC: 4990.TWO - news) ) $96.90 +0.05%
International Business Machines Corp. (IBM (NYSE: IBM - news) ) $201.75 +0.03%
Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) $44.36 +0.02%

Dow Jones I.A - Fallers
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) $70.80 -0.95%
Unitedhealth Group Inc. (UNH) $57.43 -0.54%
Boeing Co (NYSE: BA - news) . (BA) $76.19 -0.48%
Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) $88.19 -0.47%
American Express Co. (AXP) $61.53 -0.44%
Chevron Corp. (CVX) $115.15 -0.42%
3M Co. (MMM) $102.27 -0.38%
Home Depot Inc. (HD) $66.76 -0.37%
Procter & Gamble Co (NYSE: PG - news) . (PG) $75.47 -0.37%
JP Morgan Chase (Other OTC: JFTTL - news) & Co. (JPM) $48.49 -0.29%

Nasdaq 100 - Risers
Starz Class A (STRZA) $17.55 +5.28%
Perrigo Company (PRGO) $110.27 +1.82%
Monster Beverage Corp (MNST) $47.28 +0.94%
Analog Devices Inc (NasdaqGS: ADI - news) . (ADI) $46.10 +0.88%
Micron Technology Inc (NasdaqGS: MU - news) . (MU) $7.81 +0.77%
Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) $21.31 +0.71%
Sirius XM Radio Inc (NasdaqGS: SIRI - news) (SIRI) $3.14 +0.64%
Fiserv Inc (NasdaqGS: FISV - news) . (FISV) $80.97 +0.61%
Apple Inc (NasdaqGS: AAPL - news) . (AAPL) $477.86 +0.61%
Dollar Tree Stores Inc. (DLTR) $41.30 +0.58%

Nasdaq 100 - Fallers
Randgold Resources Ltd. Ads (GOLD) $92.13 -2.21%
Amgen Inc. (AMGN) $85.35 -1.64%
Sigma-Aldrich Corp. (SIAL) $76.80 -1.11%
Altera Corp (NasdaqGS: ALTR - news) . (ALTR) $35.00 -1.07%
Intuitive Surgical Inc (NasdaqGS: ISRG - news) . (ISRG) $573.38 -0.93%
Liberty Global Inc (NasdaqGS: LBTYA - news) . Series A (LBTYA) $67.39 -0.91%
Google Inc. (GOOG) $778.67 -0.85%
eBay Inc. (EBAY (NasdaqGS: EBAY - news) ) $56.22 -0.71%
Expedia Inc (NasdaqGS: EXPE - news) . (EXPE) $65.20 -0.69%
Nuance Communications Inc (NasdaqGS: NUAN - news) . (NUAN) $19.87 -0.65%

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