*CNBC - Wall Street's winning ways have come to a partial end,thanks in part to cautious comments from Fed chairman Ben Bernanke. Hisview that the Fed did not have the tools to fully mute the impact of going offthe fiscal cliff helped erase the market's earlier gains, with the Dow seeing a5-day winning streak come to an end. The S&P 500 did manage to keep again of less than a point, giving it its first 6-day win streak since August.
Today is the busiest day of the week for economic numbers,with three important reports all out at 8:30am Et. The Labor Departmentis expected to report 369,000 first-time jobless claims for last week, comparedwith 370,000 the week before. Economists see November retail sales rising0.5%, compared to October's 0.3% drop. And the November ProducerPrice index should see a drop of 0.6%, according to consensus forecasts, withthe core rate – which excludes food and energy – up 0.2%. In October,both of those measures had fallen 0.2%.
At 10am ET, October business inventories are seen rising0.3% following September's 0.7% increase.
At 10:30am ET, the Energy Department is out with its weeklylook at natural gas inventories.
The Treasury will sell $13 billion in 30-year bonds, withthe results of that sale due shortly after 1pm ET.
Home builder Hovnanian Enterprises (HOV) and retailer PierOne (PIR) are among the few companies set to release earnings results thismorning, while software maker Adobe Systems (ADBE) will be out with its numbersafter today's closing bell.
Legg Mason (LM) has joined the ranks of those acceleratingquarterly dividend payments. Its payout will come on December 28 ratherthan the previously announced January 7 date.
Boston Beer (SAM) has raised its 2012 earnings and 2013sales guidance. The maker of Sam Adams beer now sees 2012 earnings of$4.30 - $4.60 per share, compared to Street estimates of $4.21 and a previousrange of $3.80 - $4.20.
SolarCity (SCTY) has priced its initial public offering at$8.00 per share, and will begin trading today on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The company – backed by entrepreneur Elon Musk – had initially expected an IPOprice between $13 - $15 per share, but issued a scaled down estimate Wednesdaymorning amid thinner than expected investor demand.
Google's (GOOG) Google Maps application have returned toApple's (AAPL) iOS devices. Google Maps had been replaced as the defaultmapping application when Apple upgraded to the iOS 6 operating system, butApple's replacement mapping app was the subject of widespread criticism.
AstraZeneca's (AZN) experimental rheumatoid arthritis drughas proven inferior to Humira, the best-selling medication made by Abbott Labs(ABT), in a clinical study. That's seen as a blow to AstraZeneca, becausethe drug is one of its few late-stage products in its pipeline.
Pep Boys (PBY) has authorized a $50 million share repurchaseprogram. CEO Mike Odell says the auto parts retailer's stock isundervalued and that the repurchase program is a good investment.