Stocks Close Mixed as Economic Data Improve, UPS Cuts Guidance

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Markets were mixed Friday, weighed down by a round of quarterly reports that came in shy of expectations. UPS (UPS) cut its guidance, and General Electric (GE) and Intel (INTC) missed earnings expectations.

  • The S&P 500 closed 0.39% lower at 1,838.70, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.25% to 16,458.56. The Nasdaq lost 0.5% to 4,197.58. The S&P 500 dipped 0.2% for the week, while the Dow and Nasdaq climbed 0.13% and 0.55%, respectively.
  • UPS  (UPS) was off 0.63% to $99.86 after lowering its full-year earnings guidance to $4.57 a share from the prior outlook of $4.65 to $4.85. The company expects fourth-quarter earnings of $1.25 a share, missing forecasts. UPS explained the results were being hurt by the challenges of the compressed peak season coupled with an unprecedented level of online shopping. General Electric  (GE) was also lower, down 2.4% to $26.56 after falling just shy of hitting its goal of a 70-basis-point improvement for its industrial margin of 2013. Intel  (INTC) missed Wall Street estimates, sending shares down by 2.6% to $25.85. The company confirmed with TheStreet that Intel would be cutting 5% of staff in 2014. Morgan Stanley (MS) rose 4.4% to $33.40 after posting fourth-quarter earnings of 7 cents a share, or 20 cents on an adjusted basis, though both figures were weighed down by legal costs.
  • Electronic Arts  (EA) surged, leading the S&P 500, on an upgrade by CRT Capital Group, which expected sales strength on the video game company's Titanfall and soccer titles. Shares popped 11.9% to $24.11. 
  • SLM Corp.  (SLM) was the worst performer in the S&P as shares plummeted 9.8% to $24.47.
  • December housing starts rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 999,000, topping estimates. Permits came in at a pace of 986,000, below expectations. 
  • Germany's DAX finished up 0.26% while the U.K. FTSE finished up 0.2%. The Nikkei closed down 0.08% while the Hang Seng finished up 0.64%. 

-- By Jane Searle and Joe Deaux in New York 

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