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US stocks are little changed; Lululemon drops

Posted: January 13, 2014 9:05 a.m.
Updated: January 13, 2014 9:05 a.m.
 

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks were mixed on Monday as investors wait for the pace of company earnings reports to pick up this week. Energy stocks fell as the price of oil declined.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell one point, or 0.1 percent, to 1,840 as of noon Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 17 points, or 0.1 percent, to 16,419. The Nasdaq composite rose two points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 4,177.

OIL SLUMP: Energy stocks held the market back. The price of crude oil fell 60 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $92.12 a barrel. Oil is falling as traders assess that that global crude supplies will remain plentiful even if demand picks up. Exxon Mobil was down $1.16, or 1.1 percent, at $99.37.

SLOW START: The stock market is getting the year off to a slow start after an exceptionally strong performance in 2013. The S&P 500 is down 0.4 percent so far this year, after climbing almost 30 percent last year. A weak December jobs report that was released Friday has left investors feeling cautious about the economy.

BIG BANKS AND OTHERS: JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank of America are among the big banks that will report fourth-quarter earnings this week. Best Buy and the UnitedHealth group are among the non-financial companies that will report earnings.

EARNINGS WATCH: "The market will take its direction from how well, or how poorly, corporate earnings season is unfolding," said Phil Orlando, chief equity market strategist at Federated Investors. "I think we're setting up for a positive surprise."

GROWTH FORECAST: Analysts expect fourth-quarter earnings to rise by 5.8 percent for S&P 500 companies, according to S&P Capital IQ. That would be a slight increase from the 5.7 percent rate in the previous quarter and the highest since the fourth quarter in 2012.

DOWNWARD-FACING SALES: Lululemon Athletica fell $9.59, or 16.1 percent, to $50.05 after the yoga apparel maker said sales have dropped off in January and its fourth-quarter results will be lower than expected.

NO DEAL: Scripps Networks slumped $3.88, or 4.7 percent, to $78.13 after the Wall Street Journal reported that talks about a merger between the cable network operator, which owns HGTV, and Discovery Communications had ended.

MIXED DRINKS: Beam, the maker of Jim Beam, Maker's Mark and other liquors jumped $16.15, or 24.1 percent, to $83.12 after the company announced that it had agreed to be acquired by Japan's Suntory for $14 billion.

TREASURYS AND GOLD: The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.85 percent from 2.86 percent from Friday. Gold rose $3.60, or 0.3 percent, to $1,250.50 an ounce.

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