Stocks Started Flat after Economic Reports

U.S. stocks opened little changed on Friday as investors digested the latest round of economic data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately rose 13.91  points to 13,184.63. The S&P 500 index declined 1.34 points to 1,418.11. The Nasdaq Composite lost 9.60 points to 2,982.56.

A steep fall in gas costs pushed down a measure of U.S. consumer prices last month, keeping inflation mild.The seasonally adjusted consumer price index dropped 0.3 percent in November from October, the Labor Department said Friday. Gas prices fell 7.4 percent, the biggest drop in nearly four years. That offset a 0.2 percent rise in food prices.

The output of the nation’s factories, mines and utilities surged in November after falling in the prior month, the Federal Reserve said Friday. Production rose 1.1% in November, the Fed said. This is the fastest pace in two years.

Discovery Communications Inc (DISCA) said it would buy 12 Nordic television channels from Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG for about $1.7 billion to add entertainment, scripted shows and sports to its program offerings.

Swiss bank UBS (UBSN.VX) is expected to pay about $1 billion to settle charges of rigging the Libor interest rate benchmark, according to a person familiar with the situation, making it the second major bank to be officially ensnared by the global scandal.

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