FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here

U.S. equities flipped between gains and losses on Friday as traders parsed through mixed corporate and economic reports.

Today's Markets

As of 3:20 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 26.6 points, or 0.16%, to 16443, the S&P 500 declined 8.2 points, or 0.45%, to 1837 and the Nasdaq Composite slumped 24.6 points, or 0.58%, to 4194.

Earnings season is in full swing. United Parcel Service (UPS) sliced its adjusted full-year 2013 earnings outlook to $4.57 a share, from a previous estimate of $4.65 to $4.85 a share. Wall Street was looking for profits of $4.75. 

General Electric (GE), the blue-chip conglomerate, revealed quarterly profits that matched expectations and revenues that exceeded views. Investment bank Morgan Stanley (MS) posted better-than-expected profits. 

Meanwhile, American Express (AXP) unveiled an upside bottom-line surprise after the closing bell Thursday. Intel (INTC) posted mixed quarterly results, and a tepid current-quarter view. 

On the economic front, The Commerce Department reports housing starts fell 9.8% in December to an annual rate of 999,000 units slightly beating the Street’s expectation of 990,000. Meanwhile, permits to build new homes fell 3% to an annual rate of 986,000 units, missing estimates of 1.02 million.

Growth in the housing market has been cooling slightly in recent months as interest rates have risen.

A reading on consumer sentiment from Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan fell to 80.4 in January from 82.5 the month prior. The Street was looking for a reading of 83.5.

In commodities, U.S. crude oil futures climbed 82 cents, or 0.87%, to $94.78 a barrel. Wholesale New York Habor gasoline jumped 0.89% to $2.618 a gallon. Gold advanced $2.30, or 0.89%, to $1,243 a troy ounce. 

Follow Adam Samson on Twitter @adamsamson.