Stocks Ended Lower but Well Off Their Worst Levels

U.S.stocks ended lower but well off their worst levels on Thursday, with the Nasdaq snapping a seven-day winning streak, as investors prepared to reposition ahead of fourth-quarter earnings season. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 63.28 points, or 0.32%, to 19,891.00. The S&P 500 fell 4.88 points, or 0.21%, to 2,270.44. The Nasdaq Composite declined 16.16 points, or 0.29%, to 5,547.49

Oil futures settled higher Thursday, with indications that major producers are cutting back output, strong demand growth in China and a weaker dollar prompting prices to extend gains into a second straight session. February West Texas Intermediate crude climbed 76 cents, or 1.5%, to settle at $53.01 a barrel. March Brent crude rose 91 cents, or 1.7%, to $56.01 a barrel.

Amazon.com Inc. on Thursday said it plans to create more than 100,000 full-time jobs in the U.S. within the next 18 months, leveraging plans already in the works in part to patch up its contentious relationship with President-elect Donald Trump.

The Environmental Protection Agency accused Fiat Chrysler on Thursday of installing software that enables certain diesel trucks to emit far more pollutants than emissions laws allow.

Japan’s Takata Corp is expected to plead guilty to fraud charges as early as Friday as part of a $1 billion settlement with the U.S. Justice Department over its handling of air bag ruptures linked to 16 deaths worldwide, sources said.

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