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Jan. 8, 2013 at 6:35 PM
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Markets close lower Tuesday

NEW YORK, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- U.S. stock indexes slid Tuesday morning as investors remained cautious after last week's surge.

The European Union's data agency Eurostat reported unemployment rose October-to-November in the 17-nation currency region, climbing from 11.7 percent to 11.8 percent, a record high.

Despite the report, stocks were mixed in Europe.

By close of trading on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 55.44 points or 0.41 percent to 13,328.85. The Nasdaq composite shed 7.01 points or 0.23 percent to 3,091.81. The Standard and Poor's 500 dropped 4.74 points or 0.32 percent to 1,457.15.

On the New York Stock Exchange, 1,509 stocks advanced and 1,497 declined on a volume of 3.5 billion shares traded.

The 10-year treasury note rose 9/32 to yield 1.871 percent.

Against the dollar, the euro fell to $1.308 from Monday's $1.3117. The dollar was lower at 86.86 yen from 87.79 yen.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index lost 0.86 percent or 90.95 points to 10,508.06.

In London, the FTSE 100 index fell 0.18 percent, 10.95 points, to 6,053.63.

Target extends price matching policy

MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- U.S. retail chain Target said it would extend its holiday season low-price matching policy to a year-round standard practice.

Target said it would match prices with Amazon.com, Walmart.com, BestBuy.com, Toysrus.com and Babiesrus.com, cnet reported Tuesday.

Customers have seven days after making a purchase to call Target's attention to a lower price. Under a variety of stipulations, including finding an exact match for the item in question, including color, Target said it would allow the customer the lower price.

Cnet said the onus was on the customer to prove that a lower price could be found elsewhere. The fine print includes qualifiers, such as matching the merchandise from another retailer by "brand name, size, weight, color, quantity and model numbers."

To receive the lower price, the item must be in stock at a Target store at the time the request is made for the lower price. Customers must also bring proof of the competitor's price, which Target said it would verify independently.

The deal is limited to "one competitor online price match per identical item, per guest," Target said.

The policy is an effort for Target to stop customers from "showrooming," which is the practice of inspecting merchandise at a brick and mortar store, then finding a cheaper price online and making a purchase elsewhere.

The practices is called "showrooming," because Target and other retailers end up playing the role of the show room for an online supplier with cheaper prices and less overhead.

The problem, said one industry analyst, is that the price matching policy for the recent holiday shopping season did not stop sales at Target from falling short of expectations.

"Target has disappointed three holiday seasons in a row, as it works to strike the appropriate balance between price and promotions in a world that is increasingly competitive and shifting toward e-commerce," said Jefferies analyst Daniel Binder.

Poll: Tax deal did not boost confidence

PRINCETON, N.J., Jan. 8 (UPI) -- The late save from the so-called fiscal cliff didn't boost U.S. consumer confidence, survey firm Gallup said Tuesday.

For the week ending Sunday, Gallup said its Economic Confidence Index was at minus 21, little changed from the previous week, when the index rested at minus 22.

Gallup said the numbers indicated consumer confidence, at a four-year high in November, did not worsen until news of the budget impasse in Washington accelerated in December.

The fiscal cliff was averted at the 11th hour by a federal tax deal signed into law Jan. 2. Until then, a default budget that included tax hikes across the income spectrum and spending cuts -- totaling hundreds of billions of dollars when added together -- was said to have the potential to drop the U.S. economy back into a second recession.

The results of the default budget, economists said, would have been like throwing the economy off a cliff, hence the nickname attributed to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

While the confidence index held close to steady, the Gallup Outlook Index, measuring confidence in the economy's future, dropped sharply from minus 1 in early November to minus 18 in the recent poll.

In the most recent poll, 39 percent of respondents indicated the economy was getting better, while 57 percent indicated it was getting worse, Gallup said.

The current survey was conducted daily from Dec. 31 through Sunday. With a sample group of 2,043 surveys, Gallup said with a 95 percent certainty, the results have a margin of error of plus and minus 3 percentage points.

787 troubles hit Boeing share price

BOSTON, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Boeing shares dropped sharply Tuesday, losing more than 3 percent on reports a second Japan Airlines 787 Dreamliner in two days had troubles in Boston.

On Monday, firefighters were called to Logan Airport after smoke was detected in the cabin of a JAL Dreamliner 787 that was being readied for an afternoon flight. There were no passengers or flight crews on board at the time the smoke was detected.

The plane had recently arrived from Tokyo.

On Tuesday, a fuel leak was detected in another JAL 787 at Logan Airport. That 787 had 178 people on board when the fuel leak was detected. The jet was returned safely to the terminal.

Boeing shares, meanwhile, dropped $2.55, or 3.5 percent, to $73.58, the Houston Chronicle reported.

This week's problems are not new. Monday's fire occurred in the electrical equipment bay of the jet. In December, a fire in the same area broke out on a United Airlines 787 in mid-flight.

That jet, which was flying from Houston to Newark, N.J., made an emergency landing in New Orleans, the Chronicle reported.

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