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Markets waver before closing mixed

Jan. 10, 2014 @ 07:13 AM

NEW YORK — The stock market wavered for a second day Thursday as investors weighed disappointing news from the retail industry against more positive signals on the U.S. economy.

Investors were looking ahead to Friday’s jobs report, as well as the start of corporate earnings sea son .

Retailers were among the hardest hit stocks on Thursday.

Bed Bath & Beyond plunged $9.93, or 13 percent, to $69.75 and Family Dollar fell $1.37, or 2 percent, to $64.97, making them the biggest decliners in the S&P 500. Both companies cut their earnings forecasts following a disappointing holiday season.

The reports of tepid sales dis­appointed investors, who have been seeing signs for several weeks that the U.S. economy was improving and that shoppers were returning to the malls.

It appears that the economy, while improving, still has some weak spots.

At the close of trading, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 17.98 points, or 0.1 percent, to 16,444.76. The S&P 500 added 0.64 points, or less than 0.1 per­cent, to 1,838.13 and the Nasdaq composite lost 9.42 points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,156.19.

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