Flat Close Over GOP Sequestor Plan

The markets closed flat with the Dow adding 7 points to 13,986 as lawmakers worked to avoid a sequester. Nasdaq slipped 3 points to 3168.

On the upside

A New York judged ordered Flagstar Bancorp to pay Assured Guaranty (NYSE: AGO) $90.1 million for breach of contract. Shares of MBIA (NYSE: MBI) rose over optimism that the bond insurer will be victorious in its lawsuit against Bank of America (NYSE: BAC).

The Food and Drug Administration approved the use of Biolase's (Nasdaq: BIOL) 940nm Diolase 10 diode soft tissue laser in an additional 19 medical markets.

Howard Weil upgraded Penn Virginia (NYSE: PVA) to a Sector Outperform rating.

On the downside

Apollo Investment (Nasdaq: AINV) fell to a loss for the fourth quarter.

Colfax (NYSE: CFX) swung to a profit for the fourth quarter but revenue fell short of expectations.

USG (NYSE: USG) narrowed fourth quarter losses less than expected.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 9 to 7 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 4 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 index edged up a fraction to 1512.

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