Photo: Wikimedia Commons

U.S. economic data was nothing to cheer about.First, the scoreboard:

Dow: 12,632.9, -20.8, -0.2%
S&P 500: 1,312.4, -0.6, -0.1%
NASDAQ: 2,813.8, +1.9, +0.1%

And now, the top stories:

  • All of the European Union states except for Britain and the Czech Republic signed a treaty to control spending in the eurozone.  Greece also seems to be making some progress towards a debt swap deal with its private creditors.  European stocks closed higher. Meanwhile, the euro fell back toward $1.30.
  • The November reading of the Case-Shiller home price index was disappointing.  The 20-city composite price index fell 0.7 per cent from October and 3.7 per cent from a year ago.  Economists were expecting declines of 0.5 per cent and 3.3 per cent, respectively.  Phoenix was the only one of the 20 cities that saw prices rise.  The Case-Shiller Home Price Index Has A Major Deficiency That Almost No One Talks About >
  • The Chicago Purchasing Manager’s Index fell to 60.2 in January, which was far short of the increase to 63.0 expected by economists.
  • Consumer confidence as measured by the Conference Board fell to  61.1 in January, missing economists’ estimate of 68.0 by a wide margin. “Consumers’ assessment of current business and labour market conditions turned more downbeat and is back to November 2011 levels,” said the Conference Board’s Lynn Franco.  “Regarding the short-term outlook, consumers are more upbeat about employment, but less optimistic about business conditions and their income prospects.”
  • ExxonMobil reported monster earnings of $9.4 billion or $1.97 per share.  However, the was just short of the $1.98 expected by analysts.  Total production fell to 4.53 million barrels per day.
  • On the brightside, UPS, a major economic bellwether said quarterly revenue grew 6 per cent to $14.2 billion on a better-than-expected holiday season.  EPS jumped to $1.28, beating estimates by $0.02.  Our expectations are for mixed economic growth around the world, with modest improvement in the U.S. However, UPS projects another strong year of earnings,” said CEO Scott Davis.
  • Don’t Miss: SocGen Identifies The 40 Most Important Dividend Stocks In The World >

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