U.S. stocks closed mostly lower Thursday, as bad news from Corporate America weighed on the market.
In U.S. economic news, filings for initial jobless claims fell last week. A reading on consumer prices for December showed that inflation remains tame.
In international economic news, European and Asian markets posted mixed results.
In corporate news, Best Buy was the biggest loser in the S&P 500, with shares tumbling almost 30 percent. Investors were disappointed after the retailer reported a drop in holiday sales. Shares of J.C. Penney declined after the troubled department store owner announced plans to eliminate 2,000 jobs and close 33 stores. Citigroup’s earnings were the first from the big six banks to disappoint investors. Shares declined more than 4 percent after reporting earnings and revenue that fell short of expectations. Goldman Sachs’ earnings were better than analysts’ forecasts, but shares were also lower as the bank’s profit in the last three months of 2013 fell 19 percent from a year earlier. Shares of railroad CSX fell sharply after the company said its profit declined during the fourth quarter due to weak coal demand. Shares of rival railroads Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific, which report results next week, were also down. Dow components Intel and American Express both reported earnings that missed expectations following the closing bell Thursday. Shares of each company declined in after-hours trading.
The dollar lost ground against the pound and the yen, but gained ground versus the euro. Light sweet crude oil for February delivery dropped 21 cents to $93.96 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold futures added $1.90 to $1,240.20 an ounce.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 64.93, or 0.39 percent, to 16,417.01. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 2.49, or 0.13 percent, to 1,845.89. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index gained 3.81, or 0.09 percent, to 4,218.69.