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U.S. stocks end mixed amid Greece debt talk, mixed earnings

01-21-2012 09:22 BJT

NEW YORK, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks ended mixed on Friday as investors were cautiously awaiting the result of Greece debt talk.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 96.50 points, or 0.76 percent, at 12,720.48. The Standard & Poor's 500 added 0.88 points, or 0.07 percent, to 1,315.38. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 1. 63 points, or 0.06 percent, to 2,786.70.

With the talks between Greece and its private bond holders entering the third day, there was word a bond swap deal, which would prevent the country from sinking into a chaotic default, may be reached very soon.

However, investors were still cautious after three straight gains and traders were worried that Europe was just kicking the can down the road than trying to tackle its debt problems.

The latest earnings, most notably earnings from some big tech names, came in mixed.

The blue-chip Dow got a boost after International Business Machines (IBM) reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and indicated stronger 2012 results. IBM jumped 4.43 percent to close at 188.52 dollars per share.

Microsoft rallied more than 5 percent to its highest level since last January, the best performer among 30 Dow components, as investors reacted positively to the software giant's quarterly results.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq were hit as Google shares tumbled more than 8 percent after the search giant said its profit in the fourth quarter of 2011 fell short of analysts' estimates.

On economic news front, the National Association of Realtors reported that the annual sales in December reached 4.6 million homes, up 5 percent from November and 3.6 percent from a year ago.

Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

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