Daily Data Flow: Hesitating Investors Lower Stocks; January Barometer Could Fail; Foreclosures Expected to Increase

Earnings, U.S. Stocks Fall (Bloomberg)
The best January gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average in almost 20 years was trimmed as stocks fell, caused by investors considering data, including disappointing earnings, in anticipation of the jobs report due tomorrow. ???The market???s due for a breather, so unless the economic news was significantly above expectations or significantly below, you???re probably going to get a trading down market,??? Eric Green, director of research at Penn Capital, said. ???The mixed data give some reason to take some profits potentially.???

January Barometer Could Fail in 2013 (CNBC)
The last 11 times the S&P 500 rose over 5% in January, the market did very well in the following 11 months of the year. This year, however, that effect could fall flat. “We’ve got a lot of excessive bullish sentiment,” said Jeff Hirsch, editor in chief at the Stock Trader’s Almanac, an industry bible regarding prevailing historical trends. “We are running into the typical seasonal behavior, with November, December and January up and the best six months doing well. My feeling is we have another 5 percent or so on the upside and then we will start to weaken.”

Foreclosures Increased in 2012 (CNBC)
Foreclosures increased last year after declining in 2011. They are expected to keep climbing this year, as banks begin clearing backlogs of distressed loans. “Markets with increasing foreclosure activity in 2012 took the first step in finally purging delayed distress left over from the bursting housing bubble,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “Meanwhile, the underlying fundamentals in many of those markets are slowly improving, making it an opportune time to absorb additional foreclosure inventory this year ??? and that is particularly good news for buyers and investors hungry for more inventory to purchase in those markets.”