S&P 500 Is Little Changed, Hovering Near 5-Year High
"The wider than expected trade gap in November suggests net exports will be a noticeable drag on Q4 real GDP rather than providing a small boost," said RBS economists.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that December import prices, excluding oil, fell 0.1% in December after declining 0.2% in November. Export prices, excluding the agriculture component, dropped 0.2% after November was revised to a decrease of 0.8% from a decline of 0.7%.
The Treasury Department reported Friday that the U.S. government ran a budget deficit of $260 million in December. Its monthly budget report for November showed a deficit of $172.1 billion.
Gold for February delivery dropped Friday by $17.40 to settle at $1,660.60 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, while February crude oil contracts lost 26 cents to finish at $93.56 a barrel.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury increased 10/32 to lower the yield to 1.866%. The dollar was down 0.34%, according to the U.S. dollar index .
J.C. Penney (JCP) shares tumbled 4.7% after UBS downgraded the stock to "sell" from "neutral" amid concerns about the company's turnaround plans.
Ford(F) said it plans to hire 2,200 workers in 2013 to fill jobs in areas such as product development, manufacturing and IT, as the automaker expands its product lineup of fuel-efficient vehicles.
The stock has been added to Goldman Sachs' "conviction-buy" list, with an analyst citing North America pickup demand opportunities and "tailwinds" in Europe from aggressive OEM restructuring plans. Shares added 1.2%.
Research In Motion (RIMM) shares rebounded 14% after sliding, as Blackberry users complained about connection problems.
Best Buy (BBY) shares surged 16% after the electronics retailer announced a smaller-than-expected slump in holiday same-store sales as U.S. sales improved.
General Mills (GIS) shares slid 2.4% after Goldman Sachs downgraded the food stock to "sell," citing an overextended product portfolio.
Apple's(AAPL) Phil Schiller, the tech giant's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, reportedly nixed rumors about a cheaper iPhone in an interview with The Shanghai Evening News . Shares were off 0.6% on Friday.
-- Written by Andrea Tse and Joe Deaux in New York.
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