US close: Stocks mixed as markets digest Obama speech

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LONDON (ShareCast) - - Markets digest State of the Union address
- Obama says deficit would not increase under new plans
- GE jumps after selling NBC Universal

Dow Jones (DJI: ^DJI - news) : -0.26%
Nasdaq Composite: 0.33%
S&P 500: 0.06%

Wall Street finished mixed on Wednesday, lacking direction for a third consecutive day with investors pausing for breath after a strong rise so far in 2013.

"It often happens that after a few days like the ones we have seen, the market surprises us with a sharp rise or fall in the following sessions," said analysts at Digital Look.

In his long-awaited State of the Union address last night, President Barack Obama said he would push for a bilateral transatlantic trade deal with the European Union "because trade that is free and fair across the Atlantic supports millions of good-paying American jobs".

He also proposed raising the minimum wage to $9 per hour and unveiled plans for a new 'Fix it First (Other OTC: FSTC - news) ' programme, pledging $50bn to repair damaged bridges, roads and railways.

The President attempted to head off GOP opposition insisting that such initiatives would not increase the deficit by a "single dime".

"Let's be clear: deficit reduction alone is not an economic plan," he said.

Economic data

January retail sales rose by 0.1% month-on-month, in line with expectations. However, if sales of automobiles and gas are excluded then retail sales in the first month of the year were actually slightly weaker than forecast.

Import prices rose by 0.6%, a moderate rise more than expected, but the previous month's figures were revised lower.

GE gains on share buyback news

General Electric (Other OTC: GEAPP - news) was a high riser after raising its share buyback programme and saying it would offload its remaining stake in NBC Universal to Comcast for $16.7bn. Comcast also rose strongly.

Voucher codes website Groupon (NasdaqGS: GRPN - news) was higher after Sterne Agee raised its recommendation to 'buy' from 'neutral', saying that while the stock is volatile, "the risks are well known and largely priced in".

Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE: CLF - news) sank after cutting its dividend by 76% and would sell more stock to pay off debt. Deutsche Bank (Xetra: 514000 - news) cut its rating for the shares from 'buy' to 'hold' today.

Dairy processor Dean Foods slumped after posting a quarterly revenue of $3.0bn, below the consensus forecast of $3.37bn.

S&P 500 - Risers
FMC Technologies Inc (NYSE: FTI - news) . (FTI) $50.46 +4.99%
Lorillard Inc (NYSE: LO - news) . (LO) $41.68 +4.93%
Netflix Inc (NasdaqGS: NFLX - news) . (NFLX) $186.23 +4.65%
Amazon.Com Inc. (AMZN) $269.47 +4.16%
NASDAQ OMX Group Inc. (NDAQ) $31.65 +3.60%
General Electric Co. (GE) $23.39 +3.59%
Devon Energy Corp. (DVN) $61.48 +3.28%
Progressive Corp (NYSE: PGR - news) . (PGR) $24.49 +3.12%
Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) $40.13 +2.98%
LyondellBasell Industries (NYSE: LYB - news) (LYB) $62.30 +2.96%

S&P 500 - Fallers
Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (CLF) $29.29 -19.99%
Dean Foods Co. (DF) $16.70 -9.19%
Hospira Inc (NYSE: HSP - news) . (HSP) $32.65 -6.58%
Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. (DPS) $42.69 -5.80%
Fossil Inc (NasdaqGS: FOSL - news) . (FOSL) $105.21 -4.92%
WellPoint Inc (NYSE: WLP - news) . (WLP) $63.00 -4.56%
Carnival Corp. (CCL) $37.46 -4.00%
First Solar Inc (Xetra: A0LEKM - news) . (FSLR) $32.44 -3.85%
Deere & Co. (DE) $90.68 -3.50%
Frontier Communications Co. (FTR) $4.50 -3.23%

Dow Jones I.A - Risers
General Electric Co. (GE) $23.39 +3.59%
Cisco Systems Inc (NasdaqGS: CSCO - news) . (CSCO) $21.14 +0.81%
Alcoa Inc (NYSE: AA - news) . (AA) $9.10 +0.78%
Procter & Gamble Co (NYSE: PG - news) . (PG) $76.56 +0.76%
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) $28.03 +0.54%
Unitedhealth Group Inc. (UNH) $57.23 +0.39%
Intel Corp. (INTC) $21.25 +0.28%
Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) $88.67 +0.24%
Home Depot Inc. (HD) $67.45 +0.19%
Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) $44.52 +0.18%

Dow Jones I.A - Fallers
Boeing Co (NYSE: BA - news) . (BA) $74.78 -1.59%
McDonald's Corp. (MCD) $94.00 -1.16%
JP Morgan Chase (Other OTC: JFTTL - news) & Co. (JPM) $48.68 -0.94%
Coca-Cola Co. (KO) $37.21 -0.93%
Caterpillar Inc (NYSE: CAT - news) . (CAT (Taiwan OTC: 4990.TWO - news) ) $96.38 -0.86%
E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (DD) $47.58 -0.83%
Chevron Corp. (CVX) $115.53 -0.83%
Merck & Co. Inc (Xetra: A0YD8Q - news) . (MRK) $41.15 -0.72%
Bank of America Corp. (BAC) $12.17 -0.61%
3M Co. (MMM) $102.86 -0.58%

Nasdaq 100 - Risers
Amazon.Com Inc. (AMZN) $269.47 +4.16%
Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) $40.13 +2.98%
Catamaran Corp (CTRX) $53.61 +2.76%
Garmin Ltd (NasdaqGS: GRMN - news) . (GRMN) $38.56 +2.34%
Express Scripts Holding Co (ESRX) $55.43 +2.01%
Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc (NasdaqGS: ALXN - news) . (ALXN) $92.01 +2.00%
Monster Beverage Corp (MNST) $47.69 +1.99%
Fastenal Co. (FAST) $52.01 +1.97%
Facebook Inc (NasdaqGS: FB - news) . (FB) $27.90 +1.94%
Life Technologies Corp. (LIFE) $63.44 +1.91%

Nasdaq 100 - Fallers
Fossil Inc. (FOSL) $105.21 -4.92%
Vodafone Group Plc ADS (VOD) $26.65 -2.13%
Nuance Communications Inc (NasdaqGS: NUAN - news) . (NUAN) $18.51 -2.12%
Citrix Systems Inc (NasdaqGS: CTXS - news) . (CTXS) $72.39 -1.63%
Staples Inc (NasdaqGS: SPLS - news) . (SPLS) $12.87 -1.30%
Dollar Tree Stores Inc. (DLTR) $39.72 -1.27%
Henry Schein Inc (NasdaqGS: HSIC - news) . (HSIC) $89.25 -1.24%
Sba Communications Corp (NasdaqGS: SBAC - news) . (SBAC) $67.45 -1.20%
DIRECTV (NasdaqGS: DTV - news) (DTV) $51.67 -1.07%
Liberty Global Inc (NasdaqGS: LBTYA - news) . Series A (LBTYA) $67.04 -0.99%

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