Midday Report: Stocks Snatch Earlier Gains as Dow Moves Away From 20,000 Mark

The Dow Jones index of 30 blue-chip stocks climbed to within 19 points of the milestone on Wednesday before retreating. The Nasdaq slid from a record opening of 5,499.
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Stocks turned lower on Wednesday, putting the 20,000 milestone further out of reach for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The index stretched to within 19 points of the milestone when markets opened before retreating. The Nasdaq slid from a record opening of 5,499. On the economic front, the National Association of Realtors says the November pending home sales index declined 2.5% from the prior month. Galena Biopharma (GALE) shares soared after the company announced it received regulatory confirmation after meeting with the FDA about its GALE-401 Phase 3 trial. The hematology and oncology therapeutics company said the trial is expected to start before June of next year. And Delta Air Lines (DAL) - Get Report says that it reached an agreement with Boeing (BA) - Get Report to cancel 18 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft orders. Based on list prices, the aircraft are valued at $4 billion. Delta inherited the orders when it combined with Northwest Airlines in 2008.