New York • U.S. stocks are slightly lower in midday trading Monday after Asian markets sank again on fears about disruptions in emerging markets. Industrial stocks were among the few winners on Wall Street. Heavy-equipment maker Caterpillar rose sharply following a surge in earnings for the fourth quarter.
KEEPING SCORE: Major U.S. indexes gave up early gains and turned slightly lower by midday. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 21 points, or 0.1 percent, at 15,851. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was down eight points, or 0.5 percent, at 1,782. The Nasdaq composite was down 42 points, or 1 percent, to 4,086.
AVOIDING RISK: Small-company stocks fell more than the rest of the market, a signal that investors were dumping assets seen as risky. The Russell 2000 index gave up 14 points, or 1.3 percent, to 1,129. Also, "defensive" stocks like power and phone companies rose. Investors buy those stocks when they want to play it safe and collect a rich dividend.