The January barometer could be flashing a warning sign for investors.
There are several different indicators correlating the market's performance in January to the results for the full year. The first one has to do with how it does in the first five trading sessions of the year.
The idea is that if the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) gains ground in those first five sessions, it's very likely to end the year in the plus column. But the S&P ended day five below the break-even point.
The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) is 114 points in the red so far this year, after Wednesday's 68-point loss. The S&P 500 ended Wednesday's trading virtually flat, while the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) gained 12 points.
Many market watchers prefer to look at all of January. It has a much better record of predicting what will happen for the full year.
Two pro sports teams have signed marketing agreements with partypoker.com, an online gambling company. Basketball's Philadelphia 76ers and hockey's New Jersey Devils, both owned by the same group, didn't say how much the deal is worth. All of the major sports leagues oppose sports gambling, and efforts to legalize it in New Jersey and other states.
Good news for fans who can't get enough of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Beginning next month, it will launch a 24-hour a day, subscription-only online video channel. The cost: $9.99 a month. But two of the most popular WWE programs -- "Raw" and "Smackdown" -- will remain on cable only.
Maybe you can watch some WWE while waiting for your next flight. FlightStats reports that airlines on-time arrivals declined last year to 78 percent from 80 percent the year before. And when you did arrive, you were more likely to discover that your luggage was lost or delayed.
And Macy's (M) has announced a cost-cutting plan that will cost 2,500 workers their jobs. The company expects annual savings of about $100 million, which helped it raise its earnings outlook for this year. Macy's also says a key measure of sales rose 4.3 percent during the holiday season.
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.
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