Stocks Pared Gains, Finish Mixed

U.S. stocks closed mixed on Friday, erasing earlier gains as investors kept tabs on the global economy.  The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 17.46 points, or 0.13 percent, to end at 13,579.47. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dipped 0.11 of a point, or 0.01 percent, to finish at 1,460.15. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 4.00 points, or 0.13 percent, to close at 3,179.96.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Friday it expects to hire more than 50,000 people this holiday season and will be offering more hours to its existing employees. The discounter operates more than 4,000 stores in the U.S. and employs about 1.4 million people nationwide. It is the nation’s largest private employer.

Standard Chartered Bank signed a final agreement with New York’s banking regulator to pay $340 million to settle allegations that it hid transactions with Iran from regulators.

TomTom NV (AEX:TOM2) stood by the quality of its mapping systems on Friday after Apple Inc’s (APPL.O) iPhone 5 launch was marred by glitches in its mapping app, which is built on TomTom’s data.

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