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Wall Street flat as investors weigh U.S. data, Europe

01-05-2012 08:33 BJT

NEW YORK, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. stocks ended basically flat on Wednesday, after major indexes rallied on the first trading day of the new year, as the market was still teetering between European concerns and better U.S. economic data.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 21.04 points, or 0.17 percent, to 12,418.42. The Standard & Poor's 500 inched up 0.24 points, or 0.02 percent, to 1,277.30. The Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 0.36 points, or 0.01 percent, to 2,648.36.

Stocks sank initially on dismal credit outlook in the first quarter of the year in Europe. Data showed on Wednesday commercial banks' overnight deposits at the European Central Bank hit a new record high of 453 billion euros, underscoring the ongoing fear banks have about lending to each other amid the current debt crisis.

Losses were pared later in the day after the Commerce Department said that U.S. factory orders rose for the first time in three months in Nov. on greater demand for aircraft and other goods.

Meanwhile, U.S. auto makers reported solid sales in the last month of 2011, also helped limit the losses.

U.S. economic data will continue to be the focus in the rest of this week as the government scheduled to release its highly- anticipated monthly payroll report, which always set the tone for the market in a week or two.

Before that, investors will keep theirs eyes on Thursday's ADP national employment report and weekly initial jobless claims, trying to get some clues about the employment situation.

On corporate news front, Eastman Kodak plunged nearly 30 percent to trade at about 18 cents after a report showed that the company was preparing for bankruptcy filing.

In other markets, the U.S. dollar rose against major currencies in late New York trading on Wednesday as the news that Spain may seek international aid raised new concerns about the European debt crisis.

Oil prices continued to rise on Wednesday after a strong rally. Light, sweet crude for Feb. delivery rose 0.26 dollars, or 0.3 percent to settle at 103.22 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude for Feb. delivery also rose and last traded around 113.28 dollars a barrel, up 1 percent.


Editor:Bai Yang |Source: Xinhua

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