U.S. stocks weakened a bit in choppy trading and unfolding events in Libya and their impact on oil prices seem to be the overriding factors to most investors.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged down 1.29 points, or 0.01 percent, to close at 12,213.09. The S&P 500 index fell 1.80 points, or 0.14 percent, to 1,320.02. The Nasdaq composite tumbled 14.05 points, or 0.51 percent, to 2,752.
The Commerce Department said wholesale inventories rose 1.1 percent in January, a bit better than the 1 percent increase that was expected,
IBM (NYSE: IBM) jumped 2.21 percent after Deutsche Bank upgraded its price target on the stock to $200 a share and maintained a buy rating.
JDS Uniphase (Nasdaq: JDSU), plunged 16.67 percent in sympathy with rival Finisar Corp. (Nasdaq: FNSR), which plummeted 38.54 percent, after releasing a weak outlook late Tuesday, citing weak Chinese demand.
While worries about a civil war erupting in Libya are increasing, oil prices in the US eased to $104.29 per barrel.
Bonds rose as the yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury slipped to 3.47 percent.
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