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April 21, 2014
Thursday, January 2, 2014

Wall St kicks off new year with modest decline

US stocks fell on their first day of trading in 2014 as investors booked profits in the wake of the S&P 500's best yearly advance since 1997.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 135.31 points or 0.82 percent, to 16,441.35, the S&P 500 lost 16.38 points or 0.89 percent, to 1,831.98 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 33.521 points or 0.8 percent, to 4,143.069.

In Europe, shares touched fresh 5-1/2 year highs before slipping back, hit by weakness in utilities and miners after a strong end to 2013 left the region's equities in overbought territory.

Fiat lent some support to the market though, surging 12.5 percent after the Italian carmaker gained full control of Chrysler.

Utilities were the worst-performing sector, down 0.8 percent and pegged back by a 2 percent fall in RWE after a media report sparked concern that Germany's No. 2 utility may be considering a capital increase.

News that China's factory activity slowed in December dented the basic resources sector, down 0.7 percent, as the data raised concern about the strength of demand in the world's second-largest economy and biggest metals consumer.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 ended down 0.8 percent after starting the day at a 5-1/2-year high.

The FTSEurofirst rallied 16.1 percent in 2013 in its best showing since 2009 thanks to ample liquidity from global central banks and early signs of an economic recovery in Europe.

Meanwhile, Japan's Nikkei stock average rose to a fresh six-year high to close out 2013 with a 57 percent annual gain, its biggest in more than 40 years on the back of aggressive economic stimulus by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The Nikkei rose for a ninth day to end 0.7 percent higher at 16,291.31 on Monday, its longest winning streak since July 2009.

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Tags:  US  stock market  Europe  Nikkei  


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