After Market: Stocks Finish Wild Week with a Whimper

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Stocks bounced in and out of the plus column before picking a direction on Friday. Unfortunately, the path chosen was down again, though not far. The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) extended its losing streak to five days, dropping another 43 points. The Standard & Poor's 500 (^GSPC)
fell 5 and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) lost 15 points. In all, each of the major averages lost in the neighborhood of a quarter of a percent Friday, and all lost ground for the week.

Meanwhile, another once-popular teen retailer took a tumble. Shares of Aeropostale (ARO) tumbled 20 percent after the retailer posted a wider than expected quarterly loss. The stock is now down 60 percent over the past year.

But investors were buying some other retailers. Zumiez (ZUMZ), also geared toward teens, rose 2½ percent despite forecasting a loss in the current quarter.

A couple of chains geared toward women did well. Ulta Salon (ULTA) gained nearly 6½ percent as earnings topped expectations. Ann (ANN), best known for its Ann Taylor stores, rose 7½ percent. And Coach (COH) gained 2 percent.

Other gainers today:
  • Green Mountain (GMCR), maker of Keurig, was up 7 percent, after expanding its deal with Starbucks.
  • Liberty Media (LSTZA) ended its deal to buy those shares of Sirius XM (SIRI) it doesn't already own. Both stocks gained on the news; Liberty up 7 percent, Sirius up 2 percent.
  • And Castlight Health (CSLT) soared nearly 150 percent above its $16 a share IPO price. The company, which helps workers choose healthcare benefits, stands to gain from Obamacare.

On the downside:

Tesla (TSLA) lost another 3 percent on reports that New York could become the fifth state to block the company from selling direct to consumers. Still, Tesla has a pretty good track record. It's stock has soared more than 500 percent over the past year.

Biotechs continued to lose ground. Celgene (CELG) fell 4 percent on a double dose of bad news. British regulators reportedly plan to reject the company's application to market a cancer treatment there. And a U.S. judge will hear a challenge to the company's patent on that same drug.

What to Watch Monday:
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of New York releases its survey of manufacturing conditions within New York state at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.
  • The Treasury Department releases foreign holdings of U.S. debt for January at 9 a.m.
  • The Federal Reserve reports industrial production for January at 9:15 a.m.
  • The National Association of Home Builders releases March housing-market data at 10 a.m.
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.

7 Most-Missed Tax Deductions and Credits
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After Market: Stocks Finish Wild Week with a Whimper
Our lives are busy, and taxpayers may forget what donations they gave last year may get them a bigger refund. If you cleaned out your bulging closet and dropped off clothing or household goods at your favorite charity, don't forget this may be deductible on your tax return.
Taxpayers taking a full course load and working toward a degree can receive education benefits through the American Opportunity Tax Credit for college expenses, but those who took even just one class to further their career may be able to take the tuition and fees deduction. With this credit, you can deduct up to $4,000 for tuition and fees, books and educational supplies for you, your spouse or dependents. This tax deduction is especially important to remember if you qualify because the offer expires after tax year 2013.
Taxpayers can deduct state income taxes, but what about people who live in states that don't have a state income tax? The state and local sales tax deduction is useful for those who don't pay state income tax because they can deduct sales tax paid on purchases. Even people who live in states that pay state income tax can benefit if they paid more sales tax due to large purchases. This is another tax that is going away after the 2013 tax year, so don't miss out on this one.
The earned income tax credit is a refundable tax credit given to filers who earn low- to moderate- income from their jobs. The credit can be worth up to $6,044, depending on income and how many dependents you have, but one in five tax filers overlook this opportunity, according to the Internal Revenue Service. You have to file your taxes in order to get it, so even if you make less than $10,000 (the IRS' minimum income filing requirement) you should still file your taxes.
If you were looking for a job last year, you may be able to deduct costs related to your job search – even if you didn't secure a new one. Job search expenses such as preparing and sending resumes, fees to placement agencies and even travel related to searching for a new job can be included.
This credit is often overlooked and seldom talked about, but if you have an income up to $29,500 ($59,000 for married filing jointly) you can save for retirement and get an tax credit worth up to $1,000 for individuals and $2,000 for couples if you contributed to a qualifying retirement plan such as an individual retirement account or 401(k). The retirement savers tax credit is a win-win situation since contributions to your IRA may also be a deduction from income.
Taxpayers who weren't so lucky gambling last year should know that their losses can be deducted if they itemize their deductions. However, your amount of losses cannot surpass your winnings, which must be reported as taxable income. For example, if you have $2,000 in winnings and $4,000 in losses, your deduction is limited to $2,000. Make sure you have documentation such as receipts, tickets and other records to support your losses.
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