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Hot start: Dow and S&P have best January since ’97

Slow, steady rises a result of leveling economy, lower unemployment.



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— Best Buy Co. Inc., one of RadioShack’s competitors, responded by falling 5.6 percent, worst in the S&P. Both companies sell and service cellphones, but demand has softened at their stores.

— Avery Dennison Corp., which makes labels and packaging materials, fell 5.6 percent after it said earnings plunged 81 percent on nearly flat sales. Its 2012 outlook was well below Wall Street expectations.

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— Mattel Inc. soared 5 percent because of strong demand for Barbie and Monster High dolls during the holidays. That boosted Mattel’s fourth-quarter profit by a better-than-expected 14 percent. The company also raised its dividend.

— U.S. Steel Corp. gained 5 percent after it reported strong demand for pipes from the oil industry from October through December. The company was also optimistic about this quarter.

— Agriculture conglomerate Archer Daniels Midland declined 3.6 percent after it reported an 89 percent drop in quarterly net income. The company said its results were weighed down by weakness in oilseeds, corn processing and agricultural services.




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