Stocks drift lower...Late mortgage payments improve


NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks headed lower Monday after moving higher last week. The Dow fell 22 points to close at 13,971, the S&P 500 slipped one point to 1,517 and the Nasdaq composite dropped two points to 3,192. Seven of the 10 industry groups within the S&P 500 dropped. Futures trading suggests losses at this morning's opening.

BANGKOK (AP) — Tokyo's Nikkei 225 led Asian stocks higher today as the yen weakened and investors shrugged off a nuclear test by North Korea. European stocks dropped in early trading. Benchmark crude oil fell below $97 per barrel. The dollar gained against the euro and the yen.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Looking at what's ahead on the economic calendar today, the Labor Department releases the job openings and labor turnover survey for December. And the Treasury releases the federal budget for January. Coca-Cola and Goodyear Tire and Rubber are among the major companies scheduled to report quarterly results.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A credit reporting agency says homeowners who took on mortgages well after the housing bubble burst are doing a better job in keeping up with payments. TransUnion says the trend has helped push the national rate of late payments on home loans to the lowest level in four years. The percentage of mortgage holders at least two months behind on their payments fell in the fourth quarter to 5.19 percent from 6.01 percent.

LONDON (AP) — Barclays PLC has announced plans to cut at least 3,700 jobs in a major restructuring that follows a scandal-hit year for the U.K. bank. The bank says it will cut at least 1,800 positions in the Corporate and Investment Bank unit and 1,900 retail and business banking positions outside the U.K. The bank also promised a change to culture after revelations that it had fixed key interbank interest rates and mis-sold various products, including loan protection insurance.

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