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The Dow Now: 'Modest' Start for Surface Leads to Microsoft Drop

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Boeing and AT&T were up on the day.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL After enduring its worst week since June, the US stock market inched up a notch in early Monday trading, but fell back into the red by the afternoon amidst continued uncertainty over the fiscal cliff of automatic tax increases and spending cuts.

"Right now, all eyes are on Washington, and we're just waiting," Matthew Keator, a partner in the Keator Group, a wealth management firm in Lenox, Massachusetts, told Reuters. "We're hopeful something gets done, but we've been disappointed before. We need to see something done if we're going to remain up for the year."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) was down 0.18% to 12,792.16 points as of 12:06 p.m. EST.

Boeing (NYSE:BA) was one of the day's leading gainers, advancing 0.74% to $73.79. Today the aerospace giant announced that its employees had rolled out the first 787 Dreamliner last week at an improved rate of five airplanes per month. Boeing had earlier increased the rate from 2.5 to 3.5 airplanes per month and the company is on track to hit its goal of 10 airplanes per month by late 2013.

AT&T (NYSE:T) was also up 0.76% to $33.79. It was reported late Friday that AT&T will become the first US wireless carrier to offer subsidized wireless data subscription plans for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad, much like how iPhones are currently sold. The company said in a press release that it would offer a $100 discount to online or in-store customers buying an iPad tied to a service contract, which will range from $10 per month to $50 per month individually. Customers can also added the iPad to one of AT&T's Mobile Share plans. Legacy unlimited data users are not eligible for the deal, however.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) led Dow decliners, sliding 1.84% to $28.30. Investors were likely concerned after CEO Steve Ballmer told French publication Le Parisien that sales of its new tablet, Surface, were off to a modest start. Ballmer did, however, point out that the cause was lack of supply, not demand, with Surface being available only at limited outlets, noted AllThingsD.

With insurers still unable to end the uncertainty and provide specific figures on the costs of Hurricane Sandy, Travelers (NYSE:TRV) also dipped 1.01% to $68.28.

Twitter: @sterlingwong
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