Stock Market Today, Jan. 6, 2014: U.S. stocks, including all three major indices, closed in the red today as growth in the service industries was weaker than expected, adding to the heavy start to 2014 trading.
U.S. services sector shrank last month, with an index of 53.0, down from 53.9 in November and below expectations for 54.8. But, in a more positive economic indicator, factory orders rose 1.8% in November from a year prior, the U.S. Commerce Department reported.
In addition to today's economics reports, retail stocks are likely also weighed by the headline-grabbing cold weather, which investors expect to hurt January's retail sales.
Metal futures are sagging along with stocks today. Gold for February delivery closed down 0.5% at $1,238 per ounce; silver was down 0.8% at $20.55.
Meanwhile, energy futures rose. Light, sweet crude oil for February delivery was up 0.3% at about $93.69 per barrel, heating oil is up 0.1% at $2.95 per gallon, and natural gas was flat at $4.30 per million BTUs.
In other positive momentum today, Bitcoin, an alternative virtual currency, pushed above $1,000 again after Zynga Inc. (Nasdaq: ZNGA) said it will test Bitcoin use for seven of its online games, Bloomberg reports. Zynga is the developer behind games like FarmVille and Words with Friends [Think Alec Baldwin on a plane...]
ZNGA closed up 1.8%, marking a day high at $4.07 and trading in a 52-week range of $2.40 to $4.55.
Technology Stock News Today: T-Mobile Buying Verizon's Licenses
In other technology stocks news today, T-Mobile U.S. (NYSE: TMUS) closed up nearly 4% this session after it said it will buy certain 700 MHz A-Block spectrum licenses from Verizon Communications' (NYSE: VZ) wireless unit for $2.37 billion in cash. T-Mobile says it will also buy certain AWS and PCS spectrum licenses that are worth approximately $950 million. VZ closed up about 1%.