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Overnight Markets: Wall Street falls as investors weigh data

The S&P 500 registered the biggest monthly gain since October 2011, while the Down Jones posted the best January rally since 1994.

 
Overnight Markets: Wall Street falls as investors weigh data

Wall Street declined on Thursday, with the Dow Jones industrial average trimming the best January rally since 1994, on caution ahead of Friday's all-important jobs report and amid disappointing earnings.

The Dow was down 50 points, or 0.36%, at 13,861. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down four points, or 0.26%, at 1,498. The Nasdaq Composite Index was little changed at 3,142.

For the month, the benchmark S&P 500 advanced 5.1%, the biggest monthly gain since October 2011, as lawmakers agreed on a budget compromise and companies reported better-than-estimated earnings. The Dow gained 5.8%, the biggest January gain since 1994. The Nasdaq rose 4.1%.

Shares fell on Thursday as investors looked forward to January's employment figures on Friday. Economists polled by Reuters expect non-farm payrolls to show employers added 160,000 jobs compared with a rise of 155,000 in December.

In a separate report, the Commerce Department said American incomes gained 2.6% last month, the biggest increase since December 2004.

Government will also release today reports on consumer confidence, US manufacturing, construction spending and car sales.

Qualcomm jumped 3.9%, limiting losses on the Nasdaq, after the world's leading supplier of chips for cellphones beat analysts' expectations for quarterly profit and revenue and raised its targets for the year.

Facebook shares fell 0.8% after falling as low as $28.74 a day after the social network company said it doubled its mobile advertising revenue in the fourth quarter. However, growth trailed some of Wall Street's most aggressive estimates.

UPS shares lost 2.4% after reporting fourth-quarter earnings that were below analysts' estimates on Thursday.

Constellation Brands shares plunged 17.4% after the US Justice Department moved to stop Anheuser-Busch InBev from buying the half of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo that it does not already own.

Dow Chemical Co. slid 7% after earnings missed forecasts as sales fell in Europe. ConocoPhillips slipped 5.1% after saying oil and natural gas production will hit a low point this year.

In Asia, shares oscillated between gains and losses on Friday in morning trade after a gauge of China’s manufacturing unexpectedly declined, while Japanese shares rose on earnings and a weaker yen.

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