Major indexes ended Friday almost flat, shaking off earlier declines that followed a surprising jump in Chinese inflation last month.
The S&P 500 closed at 1472.05, down 0.07 point or nearly zero per cent. The blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average closed at 13,488.43, up 17.21 points or 0.1 per cent. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index closed at 12,602.18, up 2.44 points or nearly zero per cent.
Despite the lacklustre moves overall, Research In Motion Ltd. was a standout: It reversed course after a weak start, ending the day 12.9 per cent higher.
A BMO Nesbitt Burns analyst downgraded his recommendation on the stock to “underperform” and slashed his price target to $9 (U.S.) from $12 – arguing that RIM’s upcoming BlackBerry 10 will not stem market share losses.
However, his view hit the market before RIM sent invitations to the formal unveiling of the new phone on Jan. 10, providing the clearest indication yet that the device – seen as a potential lifesaver for the struggling wireless company – is on its way.
Boeing Co. fell 2.5 per cent after the Federal Aviation Administration said it is conducting a review of Boeing’s 787 following a recent series of mishaps that raised questions about the new plane – even though the FAA administrator and the U.S. Transportation secretary said the planes were safe.
Best Buy Co. jumped 16.4 per cent after reporting that its holiday sales fell less than expected – even as the technology retailer continued to warn of dwindling free cash flow.
The economic backdrop was mixed. China reported that its consumer price index rose 2.5 per cent in December over last year, which was higher than expected. The rise weighed on Chinese stocks, sending its benchmark Shanghai stock exchange composite index down 1.7 per cent.
However, Japan announced a bold 20-trillion yen stimulus plan it hopes will drive economic growth to 2 per cent and create 200,000 jobs. The Nikkei 225 rose 1.4 per cent.
Among key commodities, gold fell to $1,658.40 (U.S.) an ounce, down $19.60. Crude oil fell to $93.33 a barrel, down 49 cents.
Among Canadian commodity producers, Barrick Gold Corp. fell 0.7 per cent and Suncor Energy Inc. fell 0.2 per cent.