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Jan. 29, 2013 at 8:23 PM
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Dow closes at 63-month high

NEW YORK, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- The Dow blue chip index closed at a 63-month high Tuesday in New York, just shy of the 14,000-point mark, as it added 72 points to this year's rally.

Overall, U.S. stock indexes were mixed after reports of lower consumer confidence and higher home prices year-to-year.

By close of trading, blue chip stocks on the Dow Jones industrial average produced a solid gain, adding 75.59 points or 0.54 percent to 13,957.52. The Nasdaq composite of tech-oriented stocks lost 0.54 points or 0.02 percent to 3,153.76. The Standard and Poor's 500 index added 7.87 points or 0.52 percent to 1,508.05.

On the New York Stock Exchange, 1,708 stocks advanced and 1,308 declined on a volume of 2.5 billion shares traded.

The Conference Board said Tuesday its consumer confidence index fell in January for the third consecutive month. The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index slipped marginally month-to-month in November, but posted strong gains over November 2011.

The 10-year treasury note fell 10/32 to yield 1.997 percent.

Against the dollar, the euro rose to $1.3488 from Monday's $1.3455. The dollar fell to 90.72 yen from Monday's 90.85 yen.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index added 0.39 percent, 42.41 points, to 10,866.72.

In London, the FTSE 100 index gained 0.71 percent, 44.78 points, to 6,339.19.

Study: Overseas profits find tax havens

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- A congressional research team said U.S. multinational firms were shifting massive profits to tax havens where their investments were marginal.

The Congressional Research Service, a non-partisan branch of Congress, sometimes referred to as a government think-tank, said it studied profits multinational firms claimed were earned in five reputed tax havens and compared them to profits claimed in countries where multinational firms have major investments.

The five small tax havens chosen for the study were Bermuda, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Ireland and Switzerland.

The study found that multinational firms claimed 43 percent of their overseas profits in those five locations. In contrast, multinational companies declared only 14 percent of their profits in Canada, Great Britain, Mexico, Australia and Germany.

In terms of investment, only 4 percent of the multinational firms' workforce and 7 percent of their overseas investments were in the five reputed tax havens. In comparison, 40 percent of their overseas workforce and 34 percent of their overseas investments were in the five larger countries, the report said.

Multinational firms claimed $940 billion in overseas profits, the study said.

Strikingly, the profits declared in Britain, Germany, Canada, Mexico and Australia made up 1 percent to 2 percent of those countries' gross domestic products. In the smaller countries, the profits declared by multinational firms averaged 33 percent of their gross domestic products, the Congressional Research Service said.

U.S. homeownership rate remains low

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- The U.S. homeownership rate dropped in the fourth quarter of 2012, matching the lowest percentage since early 1997, the Census Bureau said Tuesday.

The homeownership rate fell from 65.5 percent in the third quarter to 65.4 percent in the fourth, which matches the first-quarter rates in 2012 and 1997. It has remained higher in every quarter in between.

Homeownership peaked in the first quarter of 2005 at 69.1 percent.

The Census Bureau said 86.3 percent of housing units were occupied in the third quarter of 2012.

The homeownership rate is the percentage of households that are owner occupied.

Retail slips in week

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- U.S. retail sales receipts slipped for the fourth consecutive week in the week ending Saturday, a trade group said Tuesday.

The International Council of Shopping Centers-Goldman Sachs sales report said sales declined by 1 percent in the week, but rose 2 percent compared to the same week in 2012.

The trade group said, "a confluence of factors held back the reported sales pace," in the week.

Temperatures were sharply colder on average in the week, which may have contributed to a brisk pace in clearance item sales, but sales were still off at department stores, drug stores, clothing stores, discounters, dollar, wholesale clubs, specialty stores, furniture and electronic stores, ICSC said.

Consumers were pinched slightly by higher gas prices and the higher payroll tax that kicked in in January. Sales were also expected to contract due to a seasonal, post-holiday decline, the trade group said.

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