report for December rose to a 4-month high of 97.3. But the report could not clear some of the road blocks hindering a more sustainable rally in the stock market. Market breadth is negative with the number of losers outpacing winners by a margin of 159-117.
European markets finished lower in late-session trading as the U.S. stock market weakened. Earlier, the markets there were mixed amid profit-taking in oil stocks and disappointing financial updates from France Telecom and its Orange cell-phone unit. In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index ended off 92.20 points, or 1.77%, to 5,131.40. In France, the Paris CAC 40 finished down 65.06 points, or 1.43%, to 4,476.10. Germany's DAX index stumbled 74.50 points, or 1.44%, to 5,084.52.
Asian markets ended mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 194.82 points, or 1.91%, to 10,026.03, after Toshiba's disappointing earnings forecast. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index jumped 246.78 points, or 2.29%, to 11,014.24.