The Conference Board's leading economic index for the U.S. declined 0.1% in August to 95.7, following a 0.5% increase in July. Expectations by economists were for levels to be unchanged.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury rose 3/32, diluting the yield to 1.769%. The greenback gained 0.40%, according to the dollar index.
November crude oil futures settled up 12 cents at $92.42 a barrel. December gold futures settled down $1.50 at $1,770.20.
In corporate news, market research firm IHS ( IHS ) saw its shares tumble 17.8% after the company reported fiscal third-quarter earnings that increased 8% year over year but still missed analysts' expectations as its non-subscription business softened in the face of an uncertain economy.Adobe Systems (ADBE), the publishing and design software developer, posted an in-line profit Wednesday for its fiscal third quarter but revenue of $1.081 billion was below the consensus view of $1.103 billion. For its fourth quarter ending in November, Adobe forecast non-GAAP earnings of 53 cents to 58 cents a share, far short of the average analysts' view for a profit of 67 cents a share. Shares closed up 4.2%. Bed, Bath & Beyond (BBBY), the home products retailer, missed Wall Street's second-quarter earnings expectations in its report issued Wednesday. Shares declined 9.9%. Norfolk Southern ( NSC ) shares fell 9.1% after the Virginia-based railway company provided third-quarter earnings expectations that fell short of Wall Street targets, citing weaker volumes as well as weaker revenue from fuel surcharges.
2012 Stock Predictions and Outlook
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