Stocks Ended flat, Posting Losses on Month

U.S. stocks closed little changed on Wednesday after a forced two-day closure due to super storm Sandy, as gains in utilities and financial shares offset declines in the healthcare and technology sectors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 10.75 points, or 0.08%, to 13,096.46, down 2.5% for the month. The S&P 500 closed at 1,412.16, up 0.22 point, down 2% for the month. The Nasdaq Composite declined 10.72 points, or 0.36%, to 2,977.23, down 4.5% for October.

Shares of Netflix Inc rose as much as 20 percent on Wednesday after activist investor Carl Icahn reported a stake of nearly 10 percent in the company, which offers subscriptions to watch movies and TV shows over the Internet and on DVDs.

Apple (AAPL) shed 1.4% to close at $595.32, as investors reacted to a high-level management shake-up that included the impending departure of Scott Forstall, head of the company’s iOS mobile operating system.

Facebook Inc. slipped Wednesday as another wave of shares emerged from a post-IPO lockup agreement, with a much bigger block set to hit the market in the next two weeks.

Europe’s economic gloom deepened Wednesday on the back of news that unemployment in the 17-nation Eurozone hit another record high in September as the region’s debt crisis continued to sap the confidence of business owners, investors and consumers alike. About 18.5 million people were out of work in the Eurozone in September, adding up to a jobless rate of 11.6%. That figure exceeds August’s record of 11.5% and follows the worrisome trend of the past half-year, during which unemployment has either remained static or worsened with each successive month.

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