Stocks End Mixed as Investors Weigh Data

New home sales and durable goods orders rose in December, beating expectations. Microsoft and Caterpillar issued upbeat 2007 earnings guidance

Stocks finished mixed Friday, helped by late short-covering, as investors digested a pair of solid economic reports and another batch of earnings releases. Recent stronger-than-expected economic data fanned fears the Federal Reserve won't cut rates anytime soon, and may even have to hike, says Standard & Poor's Equity Research.

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