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Stocks End Mixed but Financials Lead Decline

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Stocks End Mixed but Financials Lead Decline

Stocks started the trading session in the red after notching up strong gains on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Nasdaq printed in the black for the year while the S&P 500 and the Dow Industrials where basically flat. Earnings at large financial institutions continued to show solid gains, while inflation remains subdued. Stocks closed the trading session mixed with the Dow and S&P 500 in the red and the Nasdaq notching up a small gain.

Prior to the opening bell, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) released earnings. The bank’s fourth quarter profits came in at $4.60 compared with $5.60 in the fourth quarter for 2012. The average analysts’ consensus forecast for GS was $4.18 per share. Revenue for Q4 was $8.78 billion. Analysts expected revenue to come in at $7.74 billion. The financial sector was under pressure for most of the trading session.

The consumer price index rose 0.3% in December month over month, in line with expectations. Year over year headline CPI moved up to 1.5% from November’s 1.2% level which was also in line with expectations. Core consumer prices rose 0.1% month over month, as expected, while the year over year rate of core price inflation unchanged at 1.7%.

On the employment front, weekly jobless claims declined 2K on Thursday to 326,000 in line with expectations, for the week ending January 11, 2014. The prior week was revised lower from 330K to 328K.

J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) announced that it was closing 33 stores, cutting 2,000 jobs. The embattled retail will be closing its stores by the end of May and axe around 2,000 jobs at the same time. Penney will take $43 million in pre-tax charges but hopes to save $65 million a year from the action.

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