U.S. stocks open flat despite Wells Fargo's upbeat Q4 earnings

January 12, 2013 3:05 am 

NEW YORK, Jan. 12 — U.S. stocks opened flat Friday, ignoring the cheerful fourth-quarter earnings of Wells Fargo.

The largest U.S. bank by market capitalization reported before the market opened that its profit reached a record high of 5.09 billion U.S. dollars in the fourth quarter of 2012, up 24 percent year-on-year.

The bank's shares climbed 1.99 percent at the close of trading, with earnings per share reaching 91 cents, beating analysts' forecasts.

The San Francisco-based bank was the first major U.S. bank to report its earnings in the new reporting season. Other big banks will release earnings reports next week.

On the economic front, the U.S. international trade deficit in November unexpectedly rose 15.8 percent to 48.7 billion U.S. dollars, the highest level since April last year, the Commerce Department reported Friday.

Previous forecasts put the November trade gap at 41.1 billion dollars, according to the department.

Imports in November rebounded 3.8 percent to 231.3 billion, while exports gained 1 percent to 182.6 billion dollars, the department said.

Separately, Japan's new government unveiled a massive stimulus plan Friday, to boost its ailing economy and support post-tsunami disaster reconstruction.

China's Consumer Price Index, a main gauge of inflation, in December grew 2.5 percent, the fastest pace since June. The uptick was attributed mainly to a surge in food costs, especially vegetable prices, the National Bureau of Statistics said Friday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 13.96, or 0.10 percent, to 13,457.26. The S&P 500 Index slipped 0.44, or 0.03 percent, to 1,471.68. The Nasdaq Composite Index edged up 1.75, or 0.06 percent, to 3,123.51. (PNA/Xinhua)

CTB/RSM

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