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Dow Inches Lower; New York Manufacturing Shows Improvement

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Stocks ended the week with a whimper.
The Dow managed to eke out a small gain, closing up eight points at 13,981.76 on Friday. The index fell for the second consecutive week by 0.1 percent. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500, however, declined. The Nasdaq Composite closed down seven points to close at 3,192.03. The S&P gave up two points, but ended the week with a 0.1 percent gain.

Factory activity in New York is expanding.  The Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Empire State Manufacturing Survey said that conditions for manufacturers in the state improved for the first time since last summer. The general business index climbed 18 points into positive territory to 10.0, according to the report.
As for standout corporate earnings reports, Smuckers' third quarter turned out to be a sweet one.  The jam maker's earnings rose 32 percent. Meanwhile, Kraft foods reported fourth quarter numbers that fell 72 percent -- short of expectations.

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