January 31, 2013 at 16:46 PM EST
US Indices End Flat on Thursday but Finish Strong for the Month (FB, WMS)
On Thursday the US Senate approved a short-term suspension of the debt ceiling, which will allow policy makers to focus on other budget decisions as well as remove the threat of defaulting on payments. President Obama is expected to quickly sign the bill. The major indices mostly fell but still were in position to finish January in the best position in years. Jobless claims rose last week by 38,000, the biggest increase since early November. Personal income climbed the most in eight years in December, while consumer spending growth slowed and only rose by 0.2%. United Parcel Service Inc.'s ( UPS ) shares dropped on Thursday after forecasting yearly profit below investor estimates. Facebook ( FB ) eventually turned positive after an earlier decline and downgrades from brokers. In merger news, Scientific Games ( SMGS ) and WMS Industries ( WMS ) agreed on a $1.5 billion buyout deal. Gold futures fell over 1% on Thursday in the wake of the recent economic reports. Word on the Street Jobless claims rise more than forecast last week to a total of 368,000. US consumer spending growth slows in December , only increasing by 0.2%. Scientific Games ( SGMS ) makes deal with WMS Industries ( WMS ) for $1.5 billion to expand its portfolio . Facebook ( FB ) bounces back on Thursday from an earlier loss as most tech stocks end in the red . 30-year fixed-rate mortgages shoots up to 3.53%  from last week's 3.42%. Although oil prices fell on Thursday, it was the best January performace in seven years . Grupo Modelo SAB  tumbles the most in four years as US sues InBev's ( ABI ) buyer. Interesting Tidbits Even though Wednesday brought a dim GDP report, there is one bright spot . A list of solutions for common tech problems for small businesses.
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