Dow Edges Up After Mixed Reports


The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) finished out an average week with an equally middling day as the blue chips finished Friday with a gain of 17 points, or 0.1%. Only one major economic report was released, the November international trade report, which showed the trade deficit dropping to $48.7 billion, below market expectations. Despite the negative result, the report does have a strong effect on markets due to the one-month lag.

Boeing (NYS: BA) , for one, hasn't been doing American exports any favors lately. The aircraft maker has been surrounded by controversy this week, with its 787 Dreamliner planes experiencing several problems. The FAA has announced that it is investigating the plane's safety and airworthiness. In an apparent effort to deter panic, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said he "would have no reservations boarding one of the planes." Boeing shares fell 2.5%.

Wells Fargo (NYS: WFC) kicked off earnings for the major banks this morning. The country's no. 4 bank by assets and biggest mortgage lender reported a 25% increase in net income and a 7% bump in revenue, ahead of expectations. New mortgages, however, were down from $139 billion in the third quarter to $125 billion in this one, causing a mild sell-off as shares finished down 0.9%. Bank of America (NYS: BAC) reacted by dipping 1.3%, while JPMorgan Chase remained flat. Both banks report earnings next week.

Best Buy (NYS: BBY) shares jumped 16% today as holiday sales came in better than expected, indicating that rumors of its immediate demise were perhaps false. Overall sales dipped 0.4% during the nine-week period in November and December while domestic same-store sales were flat. Analysts had expected sales to fall by 2%. Best Buy also held its 2013 forecast in line, helping to reassure the market, and its online sales have gotten a boost lately as has begun charging sales tax in several states. At this point, even flat sales are good news for the electronics retailer, whose shares have been battered over the past year. Founder Richard Schulze is expected to make an offer to take the company private by Feb. 28.

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