Stocks erased early losses and ended up barely budging.
Here’s the scoreboard:
S&P500: 1,751.64, -3.56, -0.20%
Dow: 15,440.17, -5.07, -0.03%
NASDAQ: 4,011.55, -19.97, -0.50%
And now the top stories:
- ADP said its count of U.S. payrolls climbed 175,000 in January, missing expectations for a reading of 185,000. It’s pretty much in line with the average growth figure for 2013.
- The Institute for Supply Management’s survey of non-manufacturing businesses beat expectations with a reading of 54.0. Hiring accelerated too.
- CVS announced it would stop selling cigarettes. Shares fell slightly for both CVS and cigarette manufacturers. BI health reporter Lauren Friedman explains why this was a savvy decision. “CVS’ insurance company partners have every reason to celebrate their decision to rid their stores of cigarettes. It makes CVS a more credible partner for health care, and distances the drugstore from smokers, who are some of the most expensive people to insure.
- Argentina’s stock market fell more than 4% as investors flee the inflation-plagued country.
- Bill Gross says the bull market of the last few years has been credit driven, and now that there are signs of tightening investors should “be careful.” “With credit growth slowing due in part to lower government deficits, and QE now tapering which will slow velocity, the U.S. and other similarly credit-based economies may find that future growth is not as robust as the IMF and other model-driven forecasters might assume,” he said in a note to clients.
- Natural gas prices dropped 6%, as a mid-winter rally at the end of January fizzles on profit taking. “The market got carried away again — buying momentum pushing us to a new [recent] high, before once again we see a swift and solid bout of profit-taking,” Matt Smith, author of energy and financial-market newsletter The Daily Distillation, told Marketwatch. “This continues to feel like a short-term rally, with the feeling that we are going to charge lower again once outlooks moderate,” he said. “Winter has to finish at some point — right?”
- 3-D printing firm shares got rocked, with 3-D Systems falling nearly 15%, while rival Strasys fell more than 5%. The sector anticipates ramping up spending this year, which will cut into earnings.
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