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Facebook and UPS Lead Stocks Lower

John Maxfield
January 31, 2013

Stocks are generally lower today after social-media giant Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) and shipping company UPS (NYSE: UPS) reported disappointing earnings for the final three months of last year. With roughly an hour left in the trading session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is off by 11 points, or 0.08%. The S&P 500 sits less than a point above where it started the day.

Facebook heads lower
While shares of Facebook started the day out considerably lower, they've almost managed to claw their way back to breakeven. Yesterday, the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company reported its earnings for the fourth quarter of 2012.

Despite a 40% increase in revenue, the company's net income plunged 79% as operating expenses surged by 82%. Excluding certain items, Facebook earned $0.17 per share compared to the consensus estimate of $0.15 per share.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg was nevertheless undeterred in his plan to invest in growth. Among other things, he pointed to the company's gains in the mobile space, saying: "Today there's no argument. Facebook is a mobile company." He then went on to note:

Mobile is the perfect device for Facebook for three reasons: It allows us to reach more people, we have more engagement from the people who we reach, and I think we'll also be able to make more money for each minute people spend with us on their mobile devices. But mobile isn't just driving greater engagement on Facebook; mobile enables many new experiences and is growing overall sharing across all apps. This creates a very dynamic ecosystem and one where there's a lot of room for us to create even more sharing through Facebook.

Despite the fact that shares in the company are down, many analy