Stocks Fall 3.7% in January: An Ominous Sign?

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The Dow hasn't been up in January since 2007 and this year was no different. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) fell 53.13 points on Friday closing at 10,067.33. The result: For the month of January the blue chip index was down 3.5%. The S&P 500 was down 3.7% falling to a three month low.While the day started out with the news that GDP grew at its fastest rate in six years, the market quickly turned south due to disappointing results at technologies companies -- a sector that many expect to rebound in 2010.

Among the tech news: Shares of Microsoft (MSFT) fell the most as the company announced that it has yet to see a recovery in enterprise software spending. Apple (AAPL) was down 3.6% as its shares continue to decline after the company introduced its iPad tablet computer. Others, such as San Disk (SNDK), also saw their shares plummet due to forecasts lower than analysts had expected.

Just what the news means for the markets and the economy isn't clear. But it could be viewed as an ominous sign: The January results of the S&P 500 is often viewed as a reliable forecast of how the market will do during the rest of the year.
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