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Stocks Close Day Lower, But Close Month with Record Gains

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Dow closed down 49.84 points at 13,860.58, but despite Thursday’s negative move, the index still started the new year with a bang.
The Dow had its biggest January point gain in its history, and its best January percentage gain since 1994, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.

The S&P fell 3.85 points to 1,498.11, but gained five percent for the month -- the strongest start for the index since 1997. The Nasdaq closed down just a fraction Thursday at 3,142.13.
The markets have had a couple of down days after several days marching toward all-time highs.
Friday morning’s jobs report will likely set the tone for February’s market. The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose by 38,000 last week. The Labor Department says the overall number's still consistent with moderate hiring.
Meanwhile, consumer spending rose two-tenths of a percent in December, while income jumped 2.6 percent.
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