Stocks Opened Off on Mixed Earnings

U.S. stocks began mainly lower on Wednesday as investors considered disappointing earnings from Bank of New York Mellon Corp. and better-than-anticipated results from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 10.74 points to 12,471.33. The S&P 500 declined nearly 1 point to 1,292.73. The Nasdaq Composite rose 4.77 points to 2,733.09.

Shares of Boston’s State Street Corp. fell 5% on Wednesday morning and was the biggest decliner in the S&P 500 after its earnings disappointed investors. In a busy day for bank earnings, Bank of New York Mellon Corp. and PNC Financial Services Group Inc. ed earnings that disappointed investors and sent those shares down too. Bank of New York was the second biggest loser in the S&P 500 and PNC took the third spot.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s fourth-quarter profit fell 56 percent as trading and investment banking revenue plunged, but the bank managed to beat analysts’ expectations through cost cutting and lower taxes. Goldman’s payroll declined by 2,400 employees during the year, reflecting job cuts across trading, banking and back-office operations. The bank slashed compensation 21 percent to $12.2 billion, or $367,057 per employee, from $15.4 billion, or $430,700 per employee, in 2010.

U.S. factory output surged in December by the most in year. The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that manufacturing increased 0.9 percent in December, the biggest gain since December 2010. And the overall output of the nation’s factories, mines and utilities grew 0.4 percent in December. Warm weather dampened demand for energy produced by utilities.

The International Monetary Fund is exploring ways to expand its lending fund to a total of $1 trillion, according to a Bloomberg report Wednesday.

Oil advanced above $101 a barrel Wednesday in Asia, buoyed by positive economic data from the world’s top two crude consumers, China and the U.S. Benchmark crude for February delivery was up 57 cents at $101.28 a barrel at late afternoon Kuala Lumpur time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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