Google’s Slap on the Wrist and Automakers Beat Expectations: Market Recap

The markets closed down on Thursday, pulling back after Wednesday’s rally in light of mixed job data and the Fed’s comments on quantitative easing.

At the close: DJIA: -0.16%, S&P 500: -0.21%, Nasdaq: -0.38%.

On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) fell 0.49 percent to $92.66 per barrel. Precious metals also fell, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) dropping 1.42 percent to $1,664.80 per ounce, and Silver (NYSE:SLV) dropping 2.7 percent to $30.17 per ounce about 8 minutes after the bell.

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to today’s top stock stories:Gavel

The Federal Trade Commission has finally ended its year-and-a-half long anti-trust investigation into Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). Regulators slapped the search-engine giant on the wrist and told it to play nice with the patent portfolio it acquired from Motorola. Google is also making minor changes to the way it treats advertisers, and will allow companies like Yelp (NYSE:YELP) to opt out of vertical searches that could eliminate a user’s need to visit their site… (Read more.)

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U.S. automakers Ford (NYSE:F), General Motors (NYSE:GM), and Chrysler beat expectations for December sales. About 14.5 million vehicles were sold last year, but December’s annualized sales pace came in as high as 15.6 million… (Read more.)

The Federal Reserve is apparently questioning its own quantitative easing policy, speculating on whether the program should continue beyond 2013. Responsible for billions of dollars flowing through the economy every month, the markets did not react favorably to the uncertainty… (Read more.)

Reports released on Thursday show that both private-sector employment and initial unemployment claims grew in December. The mixed results foreshadow payroll information due out tomorrow… (Read more.)

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