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The Dow Now: Johnson & Johnson Rises on Bausch & Lomb Purchase Rumor

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Microsoft and Intel were down on the day.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL US stocks stayed all but flat in mid-Friday trading, as investors continued to weigh the fallout from the fiscal cliff battle.

"Right now, investors are in a bit of a holding pattern to see if there's any collateral damage to the fiscal cliff as it relates to corporate profits for the fourth quarter," said Jeffrey Kleintop, chief market strategist at LPL Financial, according to CNBC. "We got a deal done, but it doesn't mean corporate leaders weren't still either paralyzed or focused more on tax planning for their shareholders than executing on business plans."

"We did see that business spending was down in terms of capital investment and we'll see if that translates into weaker results," he added. "Next week we'll start to see those results and that will give us a glimpse into whether corporate profits were able to make it through this fiscal cliff battle unscathed."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) was up 0.14% to 13,410.25 points as of 12:17 p.m. EST.

Disney (NYSE:DIS) was the largest Dow gainer, rising 1.58% to $52.02, with investors looking forward to seeing how Disney will make use of its newly acquired Lucasfilm franchise property.

Ahead of its fourth-quarter results release on Tuesday, Alcoa (NYSE:AA) also advanced 1.10% to $9.17.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) improved 1.12% to $71.53 after reports that the company has expressed interest in buying contact lens manufacturer Bausch & Lomb from Warburg Pincus whose asking price is at least $10 billion.

In an overall bearish day for tech stocks, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) slid 1.18% to $26.93, while Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) declined 1.06% to $21.09. JPMorgan earlier lowered its December quarter forecast for the tech giant, citing weak PC sales and lackluster demand for Surface tablets.

IBM (NYSE:IBM) was also down 0.63% to $194.04.

Twitter: @sterlingwong
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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