Stocks Ended Lower Ahead of Earnings

U.S. stocks ended lower on Monday, as investors drew back from recent gains that lifted the S&P 500 to a five-year high, ahead of the fourth-quarter earnings season. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 50.92 points, or 0.38%, to 13,384.29. The S&P 500 index slipped 4.58 points, or 0.31%, to 1,461.89. The Nasdaq Composite index declined 2.85 points, or 0.09%, to 3,098.81.

Emboldened by big majorities and eager to lure businesses, Republican legislators and governors across the Midwest and South are planning to pursue hundreds of millions of dollars of tax cuts in the new year.

US banks agreed to pay out more than $20bn on Monday in two settlements to resolve claims arising from the mortgage crisis, with compensation for bad loans wiping out most of Bank of America’s earnings for a second successive quarter.

Netflix Inc will carry previous seasons of some popular shows produced by Time Warner Inc’s Warner Bros. Television as it braces for stiffer competition from new video-streaming rivals.Netflix said its U.S. subscribers will be able to watch “Revolution,” a drama set in a post-apocalyptic America, miniseries “Political Animals,” starring Sigourney Weaver, and Western mystery series “Longmire,” among other shows.

An oil tanker struck a tower of the Bay Bridge Monday morning but was not leaking oil into the water, authorities said. The tanker, the Overseas Reymar, swiped the easternmost tower of the bridge’s western span at 11:37 a.m., said Mindy Talmadge, a San Francisco Fire Department spokeswoman.

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