FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here
U.S. equity markets kicked off 2014 with significant losses as traders cashed in on gains from the big 2013 rally and mulled tepid economic data.
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As of 11:58 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 128 points, or 0.77%, to 16449, the S&P 500 dipped 16.2 points, or 0.88%, to 1832 and the Nasdaq Composite slumped 39.8 points, or 0.95%, to 4136.
Wall Street closed out 2013 on a high note. The S&P 500 tacked on nearly 30% last year, ending at a record high. Many investment banks are expecting more gains this year as the economy continues improving and the Federal Reserve keeps its foot squarely on the economic accelerator.
There is "a lot of re-maneuvering of positions held into year end," said Mike Block, chief strategist at Rhino Trading Partners. "I expect stocks to rally and the need to chase performance after so many managers underperformed last year will drive stocks higher in the near term."
There were several reports on the economic calendar on the day.
The number of Americans filing for initial jobless claims fell to 339,000 last week from an upwardly revised 341,000 the week prior. Wall Street expected claims to rise to 339,000 from an initially reported 338,000, according to data from FactSet.
The Institute for Supply Management said its gauge of factory activity slowed to 57 in December, matching Wall Street estimates, from 57.3 the month prior. Readings above 50 point to expansion, while those below indicate contraction.
In corporate news, Fiat said it will buy the remainder of Chrysler from a United Auto Workers trust for $4.35 billion. The move sent Fiat shares zooming higher in Italy. SAC Capital's Steve Cohen revealed a 5% stake in funky footwear maker Crocs (NASDAQ:CROX).
Energy futures were generally lower. U.S. crude oil dipped 77 cents, or 0.78%, to $97.65 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline fell 0.07% to $2.786 a gallon. Gold rallied $15.80, or 1.3%, to $1,218 a troy ounce.