Feb. 10 - Summary: Stocks trade in narrow range ahead of Janet Yellen's first Congressional testimony as Fed chair; Icahn quiets bullhorn against Apple; McDonald's extends U.S. slide; ''The Lego Movie'' plays big on big screen. Conway G. Gittens reports.
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PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL
Wall Street takes a breather after two solid days of gains and ahead of Janet Yellen's first trip to Capitol Hill as Fed chair.
The Dow, The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq each ended the session not far from where they began.
So, how are key investors viewing stocks given this year's terrible start? Value investor Mario Gabelli, CEO of GAMCO Investors, predicts stocks will post a gain of three to five percent by the end of the year.
SOUNDBITE: MARIO GABELLI, CHAIRMAN/CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, GAMCO INVESTORS (ENGLISH) SAYING:
"It had a very strong last six weeks of 2013 and what we are doing here is just giving an old fashioned give back - in part, the January effect: sell your winners last year, that your taking taxes this year; end of window dressing and a lot more volatility in the market. So what didn't work last year: gold, the 10-year bond, VIX (volatility index) is working this year."
Oil is also working - closing above $100 a barrel for the first time in 2014.
Activist investor Carl Icahn - backing off his proposal to try to force Apple to buy back $50 billion in stock. The forces were stacking up against him after shareholder advisor Institutional Shareholder Services told investors this weekend to vote against Icahn's proposal. The advice follows Apple's revelation last week that it bought back 14 billion dollars worth of stock over a two week period. Shares of the world's most valuable company climbing nearly 2 percent on Monday.
McDonald's continues to see comparative sales in the U.S. go cold. January was a tough month for McDonald's where low to middle income consumers still feel the pinch of a slow economic recovery. Global sales figures, however, were much better than expected thanks to gains in China. Shares of the world's No. 1 fast food company down more than a full percent.
"The Lego Movie" - coming in with the second best February box office debut ever, according to Box Office Mojo.com. The Warner Bros. flick took in over $69 million in North American ticket sales, which was more than double its nearest competitor. The animated film, featuring Legos in the starring role, topped opening weekend projections and help lead a total jump in sales over the weekend before, according to early figures.
In Europe: British bank Barclays says it is cooperating with an investigation after a media report said confidential data on 2,000 customers had been stolen and sold. As for the markets: stocks in Germany, France and the U.K. were little changed as investors digest the gains made last week.
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