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Wall Street reaps new year profit

AFP-JIJI, AP

U.S. stocks closed lower Monday amid profit taking from last week’s rally and caution on the eve of the start of corporate earnings season.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 50.92 points, or 0.38 percent, to 13,384.29. The Standard and Poor’s 500 fell 4.58 points, or 0.31 percent, to 1,461.89, while the Nasdaq composite index lost 2.84, or 0.09 percent, to 3,098.81.

Stocks gave back some of their gains from last week amid some cautious afternoon trading preceding (Tuesday’s) the unofficial commencement of the fourth-quarter earnings season by Dow member Alcoa Inc.’s report after the closing bell, Charles Schwab & Co. analysts said.

Bank of America shares fell 0.2 percent after it announced an $11.6 billion deal to settle long-standing claims on soured mortgages with Fannie Mae, as well as the sale of servicing rights on $306 billion worth of mortgages.

Bank of America will pay Fannie Mae $3.6 billion in cash and another $6.75 billion to repurchase dodgy mortgage loans it sold to Fannie Mae. It will also pay another $1.3 billion to settle additional Fannie claims on the servicing of mortgages.

Nationstar Mortgage, one of the buyers of the servicing rights, soared 16.9 percent.

On the Nasdaq, Apple fell 0.6 percent after announcing its App Store had a record-setting December, with 2 billion copies of mini-programs snatched up.

Online retail giant Amazon surged 3.6 percent after gaining an upgrade to “overweight” from Morgan Stanley.

Netflix, being challenged by Amazon in online video streaming, added 3.4 percent after it announced a deal to buy content from Warner Brothers Television.

Earlier in Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 0.4 percent to close at 6,064.58, while Germany’s DAX dropped 0.6 percent to 7,732.66. France’s CAC 40 lost 0.7 percent to 3,704.64.