Stocks Close Higher, Banks Limited Gains

U.S. stocks trimmed gains Tuesday as investors turned cautious on financial-sector earnings ahead in the wake of mixed results from Citigroup Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co.  After rising 151 points, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished at 12,482.07, up 60.01 points, or 0.48%. The S&P 500 rose 4.58 points, or 0.36%, to 1,293.67. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 17.41 points, or 0.64%, to 2,728.08.

Citigroup’s loan portfolio improved late last year, partly because Americans were better about paying down credit card debt. But choppy financial markets hurt its investment banking profits, and the bank missed Wall Street expectations. The bank said Tuesday that profit fell 11 percent in the last three months of last year. Citi made $1.16 billion, or 38 cents per share, on revenue of $17.2 billion.

Wells Fargo & Co. grew fourth-quarter earnings by 20% as the banking giant posted more loan growth and again reduced the amount of money it sets aside to cover potential loan losses. Wells Fargo reported a profit of $4.11 billion, or 73 cents a share, up from $3.41 billion, or 61 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue slipped 4.1% to $20.6 billion,

Shares of Research In Motion jumped more than 10 percent on Tuesday after a tech blog said the BlackBerry maker was actively seeking to sell itself to South Korean smartphone rival Samsung Electronics.

Natural gas futures plunged to their lowest in nearly a decade on Tuesday, pressured by forecasts of unseasonably warm winter weather in the U.S. Light sweet crude for February delivery added $2.01, or 2%, to $100.71 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.






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