The S&P 500 dipped below the 2,000 level for the first time in weeks. Bank earnings and a surprise move by the Swiss National Bank to ditch its cap on the franc weighed on the markets. Leah Duncan reports.
U.S. stocks ended lower on Thursday in a day of volatile trading. The S&P 500 sank below the 2,000 mark for the first time in about one month. Bank earnings and a surprise move by the Swiss National Bank to ditch its cap on the franc weighed on the markets. Producer prices saw its biggest drop in more than three years. Intel's profit topped estimates in the fourth quarter. Revenue jumped six percent as sales of personal computers stabilized, but its outlook disappointed. Bank of America- which is the second-largest U.S. bank by assets reported a 14 percent drop in profit- sales and trading revenue hurt results. Citigroup posted a slim profit after taking more than $3 billion in charges due to legal claims and overhauling operations. Shares of the largest U.S. consumer electronics chain Best Buy tumbled. That after it said same-store sales growth will be flat to negative in the first two quarters of its fiscal year due to weak demand for PCs and tablets. SOUNDBITE: MICHAEL PACHTER, MANAGING DIRECTOR, WEDBUSH SECURITIES (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Best Buy is flawlessly capturing as much wallet share as they can get from the peple that come in but they are not doing enough to bring new people in and I think that is why they are actually destined to continue to decline." Target surprised investors with a move to pull out of Canada. The retailer said it's abandoning expansion into the country less than two years after launching- a decision that will put close to 20,000 employees out of work. Shares of BlackBerry tanked after the company denied a Reuters report that it engaged in buyout talks with Samsung. On the housing front quarterly results from Lennar disappointed investors- sending the stock lower. The homebuilder posted its first drop in quarterly margins in three years. It also sees more declines on the horizon as costs rise. Swiss stocks saw their biggest one-day drop in at least 25 years on the Swiss National Bank's move. European stocks ended higher.