NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Although not incredibly painful, investors are scratching their heads over the market's early struggles heading into 2014. Thursday hasn't provided any relief, with the S&P 500 giving up its early gains. 

TheStreet's Jonathan Marino noted that European stocks were holding up well, while Asian shares were slipping. The Nikkei was down 1.5%. 

Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) was getting hit, its shares down 13%, Marino said. The company, which reported earnings on Wednesday, missed on both the top and bottom lines and provided lower-than-expected guidance. 

Family Dollar Stores (FDO) is also in the dog house after reporting earnings on Thursday. Shares were lower by nearly 7% after the company also missed on the top and bottom lines. Guidance was much lower than analysts had expected. 

Marino noted one of Jim Cramer's picks, U.S. Bancorp (USB), an Action Alerts Plus portfolio holding, has above-average loan growth and diversified earnings. With its history of solid returns, Cramer is looking for a sizable distribution of capital, Marino said. 

-- Written by Bret Kenwell in Petoskey, Mich.

Bret Kenwell currently writes, blogs and also contributes to Robert Weinstein's Weekly Options Newsletter. Focuses on short-to-intermediate-term trading opportunities that can be exposed via options. He prefers to use debit trades on momentum setups and credit trades on support/resistance setups. He also focuses on building long-term wealth by searching for consistent, quality dividend paying companies and long-term growth companies. He considers himself the surfer, not the wave, in relation to the market and himself. He has no allegiance to either the bull side or the bear side.

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