Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Business

January 31, 2014

Stocks end January with another decline

(Continued)

But many investors were surprised by January's turbulence. With one exception, the Dow had triple-digit moves every trading day in January.

Still, with the broader S&P 500 index down just 3.6 percent from its January 15 peak, the downturn is hardly severe.

"There's been some negative news out there — the economic data, corporate earnings and what's now going on in emerging markets — but I'm not convinced the headlines are bad enough to be a catalyst to push us into a correction," Corpina said.

Investors point to the December jobs report, released on Jan. 10, as when the troubles began. The U.S. government said employers created only 74,000 jobs in December, the worst month for job creation in since 2011 and far below expectations.

Up until then, weeks of data showed that the U.S. economic recovery was accelerating. U.S. companies were selling record levels of goods overseas; layoffs had dwindled; and the Federal Reserve was pulling back on its economic stimulus program, citing an improving economy.

Many investors called the December jobs report as a statistical fluke. But the report has weighed on stocks all month, investors say.

"It set a negative tone for the market," Kelly said.

Other economic reports also painted a picture of U.S. economic growth possibly flattening out instead of accelerating.

Investors combined these economic worries with mixed signals from U.S. companies.

Wall Street is in the middle of earnings season, when the country's major corporations report results for the final three months of the year. Half of the members of the S&P 500 have reported, and the results have been mixed. While fourth-quarter corporate earnings are up a respectable 7.9 percent from a year earlier, companies have been cutting their full-year outlooks and reporting weaker sales, according to data provider FactSet.

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Poll

Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

Yes, I work at eating healthy and exercising
No, I am happy with my fitness level
Changing my diet and exercise frequency is a work in progress
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