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The Markets Now: Facebook and Research In Motion Both Fell This Morning


Positive Chicago purchasing managers' index data helped to lift stocks.


A bleak jobless claims report soured investors earlier this morning until positive manufacturing data from Chicago lifted stocks.

The Chicago purchasing managers' index spiked to 55.6 in January, 5.6 points higher than December's reading. Employment saw the fastest labor expansion since June, going up 11 points to 58.0.

Initial jobless claims rose by 38,000 to 368,000, the greatest spike in claims since November. Seasonal volatility may be to blame, however, as employees hired for the holiday shopping season tend to lose their temporary work in January.

In other economic news, personal income increased 2.6%, which was much higher than expected, due to worries over the fiscal cliff. Companies pumped up dividend payments in order to avoid paying higher taxes in the new year.

The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) fell 10 points to 13899.67 and the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) declined 0.19% to 1499.08. The Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) rose 0.07% to 3144.65.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) reported fourth-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street expectations, with a profit of $0.17 per share. Revenue increased to $1.59 billion from $1.13 billion a year ago, but its operating margin shrunk to 33% compared to 48% a year ago, concerning investors. Shares fell 3.43% to $30.17 after Stifel Nicolaus downgraded the stock to hold from buy.

Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) plunged 7.73% to $12.71 after the launch of its BlackBerry10 yesterday.

Computer hardware and software systems company Fusion-io (NYSE:FIO) cut its revenue forecast for 2013; it sunk from its earlier estimate of $531 million - $539 million to $420 million - $440 million. The company posted earnings per share of $0.13, above analyst estimates of $0.08 per share. Its stock fell 15.28% to $17.02.

Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) shares rallied 5% to $66.68 after the company reported earnings of $1.91 billion, or $1.09 per share. First-quarter earnings also beat analyst expectations; the company reported $6.02 billion in revenue, up 29% from a year ago. Qualcomm raised its 2013 outlook to between $23.4 billion to $24.4 billion in revenue.

Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE:DB) experienced a huge $3 billion loss in the fourth quarter, partly due to litigation costs after its alleged involvement in the Libor rate scandal. Shares moved up 3.47% to $52.13.

The private equity group Blackstone (NYSE:BX) saw a 43% rise in fourth-quarter earnings. Its profit beat analyst estimates of $0.47 per share, reaching $0.59. Blackstone's stock surged 7.68% to $18.78.

United Parcel Service (NYSE:UPS) shares fell 1.97% to $79.63 after the company posted a disappointing fourth-quarter profit of $1.32 per share, which fell below analyst expectations of $1.38. The delivery titan also reported a net loss of $1.75 billion and lowered its forecast for 2013 to $4.80 - $5.06 per share.

The health care company Aetna (NYSE:AET) felt the pain of higher medical costs due to a flu epidemic. Fourth-quarter net income plunged 49%, earning $.56 per share compared to $1.02 last year. Its stock fell 1.45% to $48.24.

Mastercard (NYSE:MA) posted a net profit of $4.86 per share, exceeding analyst expectations of $4.80 per share. Purchase volume increased 13% from a year ago, the company reported. However, its stock declined 0.29% to $514.51.

Whirlpool's (NYSE:WHR) fourth-quarter net income fell from $2.62 per share last year to $1.52 per share. Its stock still inched up 4.34% to $113.44.

AstraZeneca's (NYSE:AZN) net profit fell 37% and earnings per share fell to $1.56 from $1.61 a year earlier. US revenue was down a whopping 23%, which the company blames on increasing costs post-health care reform. Shares moved down 2.85% to $48.39.

Royal Dutch Shell's (NYSE:RDS.A) stock fell to $70.67, down 2.82% after it reported lackluster fourth-quarter earnings of $5.6 billion, below analyst expectations of $6.3 billion. Shell announced that it is considering raising its dividend to $0.45 per share in the first quarter of 2013.

Commodity futures prices were down for gold and crude oil. Gold fell 14.7 to 1666.9 and crude oil fell 0.54 to 97.40.

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