Dec. 13 - Summary: Wall St. was little changed Friday but down sharply for the week ahead a decision from the Federal Reserve; Producer prices cool for third month; Twitter rallies after ditching change. Fred Katayama reports.
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U.S. stocks were flat following a three-day drop, as investors shied away from big bets ahead of next week's Federal Reserve policy meeting.
Investors have been worried the Fed would begin scaling back its market-friendly stimulus amid recent signs of strength in the economy.
But U.S. producer prices fell for a third straight month in November. Investors took that sign as a lack of inflation that would make the Fed pause.
Dan Morris is a global investment strategist at TIAA-CREF.
(SOUNDBITE) DAN MORRIS, GLOBAL INVESTMENT STRATEGIST, TIAA-CREF:
"I think it's also just this general nervousness. I think, what's unique about QE3 versus one and two: we knew that they were going to end it. So, even when the market had to deal with that, you had a fixed date. Now that there is uncertainty about when and how you can, as you said, interpret the data in different ways: when it's good and you think the economy is strong, that means tapering sooner, you know, that's what can inject a little bit of volatility in the market, I think. That's what we have been seeing."
For the week, the Dow fell 1.7 percent, and the Nasdaq shed 1.5 percent.
In the week ended Wednesday, investors yanked $6.5 billion out of U.S.-based stock mutual funds, according to Lipper. That was the biggest weekly outflow this year.
Twitter shares rose after the company gave in to requests to change its new policy of "blocking" offensive people. Users protested that the new policy empowered perpetrators of online abuse.
And Microsoft's short list of CEO candidates just got shorter. One of the rumored hopefuls for Steve Ballmer's CEO gig, Qualcomm's Steve Mollenkopf, just got promoted to the corner office at his company.
Beyonce is shaking up the music industry. She released a new album and 14 videos digitally and exclusively on Apple's iTunes without any previous promotion. So how did she get the word out? Using only her social networks. Beyonce is No. 4 on Forbes' list of highest-paid female singers. Her new music and videos will get wider release in time for the holidays.
In Europe, just like in the U.S., investors were on edge ahead of the Fed meeting. Stocks inched lower amid light volume.
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