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Published: Thursday, 1/3/2013

Stocks pause on Wall Street after a two-day rally

Stocks move sideways on Wall Street following a two-day surge as more fiscal squabbles loom


NEW YORK — Stocks were little changed on Wall Street today as the market pauses following a huge two-day rally.

The Dow Jones industrial average was off 4 points at 13,408 at midday today. UnitedHealth Group led the Dow lower after analysts at Deutsche Bank and other firms cut their ratings on the insurer's stock.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index edged up a point to 1,463 and the Nasdaq composite rose three points to 3,115.

The Dow soared 308 points Wednesday, its largest point gain since December, 2011. The rally was ignited after lawmakers passed a bill to avoid a combination of government spending cuts and tax increases that have come to be known as the “fiscal cliff.” The Dow also rose 166 points on Monday, before the New Year's holiday.

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