After Market: Wall Street Ends Mixed on Caution Ahead of Jobs Report

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Stocks edge lower in a session dominated by retailers.

stocks inch up ahead of December employment report
Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Investors remained cautious ahead of Friday morning's big monthly jobs report. A number of economists have raised their projection on job growth for last month following a strong ADP report Wednesday and a sizable drop in jobless claims Thursday.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 18 points, the Nasdaq composite index (^IXIC) fell 9 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) ended virtually flat for a second straight day.

A number of leading retailers reported disappointing sales for the holiday season, and several others lowered their projections for 2014:
  • Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) tumbled 12.5 percent, after posting weaker earnings and sales. It cut its outlook.
  • Home furnishings retailer Pier 1 (PIR) slid 11 percent.
  • Zumiez (ZUMZ), which sells sports apparel and equipment, fell 7.5 percent on weak holiday sales.
  • L Brands (LB), which owns Victoria's Secret and other chains, lost 4 percent and cut its outlook.
  • Family Dollar Stores (FDO) fell 2 percent on a sharp drop in earnings.
Three were also a few retail winners:
  • Macy's (M) jumped 8 percent, after it announced a cost-cutting plan and said holiday sales were stronger than expected.
  • Costco (COST) rose 3.5 percent.
  • Walgreen Co. (WAG) gained 3 percent, both on strong sales.
There was some action outside of the retail sector, too.

Airline stocks rallied as American Airlines Group (AAL) reported a strong gain in passenger traffic last month. Shares of American and United Continental Group (UAL) both gained nearly 7 percent and Delta Air Lines (DAL) gained 4 percent.

Twitter (TWTR) fell 4 percent as yet another brokerage firm -- this time Cowen -- issued a downgrade. And it needed only 4 characters, not 140, to say, "sell." Twitter has been on a wild ride since going public in November. The IPO was priced at $26 a share. The stock rallied above $70 a share last month. Twitter shares ended Thursday trading at $57.05 a share.

And check out Intercept Pharmaceuticals (ICPT). Shares of the biopharmaceutical company nearly quadrupled in price today after stopping a clinical trial early because its drug to treat liver cirrhosis was so successful.

What to Watch Friday:
  • The Labor Department releases December employment data at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.
  • The Commerce Department reports wholesale trade figures for November at 10 a.m.
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.


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12 Comments

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k4jlp

Why can't you people stop acting like third graders, come off the playground and offer something to the conversation? How about putting forward some ideas on how to make OUR COUNTRY a better place for the average American? Or maybe some ideas to get Congress in line? Put down your Box of X controllers AND THINK.

January 10 2014 at 7:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to k4jlp's comment
jimmy_branch

Nuke Wall Street, hang the Fed Clown and make all bankers, Republicans and Obummer choke on their marijuana.

Hope this helps!

January 10 2014 at 11:15 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Moreira

Most of the retailers charge to much and they can't compete with the on line shopping. Wall street forgot that most people today shop on line. This year did all my shopping at "Amazon.com" as many people I know. I saved time, no lines, no traffic to deal with, no gas monies spent, did not had to find parking spaces to park.

January 10 2014 at 3:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Moreira's comment
jimmy_branch

Amazon is slipping into the ebay abyss fast; from poor quality and service to robbing seller's with huge fees and no compensation for shipping costs.

Bezo's is squandering the profits and is now consumed with his illness.

I placed an order the other day and it set for 5 days with no action so I canceled it.

Every time it drizzles Amazon names the storm blames a storm for their terrible quality and service.

January 10 2014 at 2:20 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
dan_crabtree

I now see everyday more beggers and panhandlers on the streets and interstate highway ramps than ever before even some with children as business after business is on the brink of closing.....Could the great depression be once again at hand?...could six years of democrat control be finally at hand?..as for me..I will start storing water and canned goods for my familys very survival.. for indeed.... I beleive something \"evil\" is coming..

January 09 2014 at 9:27 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
drmike15

On has only to look at the Stock Market to realize that what enriches Wall Street no long has anything to do with enriching Main Street.

January 09 2014 at 9:24 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
betty_brock

The liberal press wants to crucify Christie for closing one lane of a bridge. OK, maybe they have a point.v Yet, they are giving Hillary a pass for facing criminal charges in Egypt. Liberals would rather have another Hitler than a Republican. They must have done too many drugs.

January 09 2014 at 8:12 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
FSHNT21

Hey, with the booming economy Obama has going and all those MILLIONS" of jobs he's created along with unemployment numbers going down every month, there can be no need to extend unemployment benefits.... RIGHT...?
Probably doesn't matter that more than 25% of the Nation's workforce is out of work....
As the saying goes..."Figures lie and Lairs figure"....

January 09 2014 at 7:54 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
sgt.oeyefeltersnatch

JOBS ??? THERE HAS'NT BEEN ANY JOBS FOR THE LAST 5 YEARS NOW JUST "RECORD" JOB LOSSES N "RECORD" UNEMPLOYMENT N "RECORD" INFLATION N OBAMIT N HILLARY N SENILE NAZI PIGLOSI ARE GOING TO JAIL IN 2014 ~>GUARANTEED<~~

January 09 2014 at 7:32 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
jwmgrand

Most Stocks have all been Force -Fed ... just like caged chickens ... money pumped right down their throats ... remember the banks got bailed out and what did they do with that $$$$ they put it in securties ........ after all ....why ( Lend ) it , when you can inflate your own gains ...by via inflating stocks with billions in Fed loaned $$$ .. but once the Fed says ... the ( Fed Window ) is closing and you are on your own ( banks ) the life rafts are gone ... the PANIC ... will begin ..and the fact of the matter will be that most of these stocks earnings are very poor if not down right horrible ... Watch for falling rocks ... and massive rock slides ...

January 09 2014 at 7:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jwmgrand's comment
merstockgto

The market goes up and it goes down. I have invested since 1980 and continue to do very well indeed. If you do not invest you do not know what you are talking about.

January 09 2014 at 9:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jimmy_branch

Why be cautious? Let it ride! Wall Street will just invent the figures they need for a phony rally and instruct the media puppets to cram it down public's throat.

This isn't a Democracy it's the Wall Street communist party.

January 09 2014 at 5:16 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply