It was a mixed day for the markets, with the latest economic data showing some signs of optimism in the labor market.
The Labor Department is reporting that claims for first-time unemployment benefits fell 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 367,000.
The four-week moving average dropped to 375,750, the second lowest level since June 2008.
The sovereign debt crisis took its toll on Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB), with the firm reporting a loss for the fourth quarter, which fell far short of expectations.
Also in earnings news, Merck (NYSE:MRK) swung to a profit in its fourth quarter, partly due to lower acquisition and restructuring charges. The drugmaker is forecasting little improvement for 2012.
In the retail sector, same store sales results were mixed for January. Target (NYSE:TGT) and Limited Brands (NYSE:LTD) were among the companies reporting sales that beat expections, while Macy's (NYSE:M) fell short.
And finally, Facebook has filed for an initial public offering. The social networking giant says it hopes to raise up to $5 billion dollars, according to the filing.
Tomorrow, we'll take a look at the government non-farm payroll report, which is expected to see a gain of 150,000 in January.
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