Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, December 15, 2010. REUTERS

U.S. stocks declined, although finishing well above intra-day lows, pressured by a mixed jobs report and a foreclosure court ruling that raises questions about banks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 22.55 points, or 0.19 percent, to finish at 11.674.76. At one point the Dow was down as much as 100 points. The S&P 500 dropped 2.35 points, or 0.18 percent, to 1271.50; while the Nasdaq shed 6.72 points, or 0.25 percent, to 2703.17.

The government reported that the U.S. economy added 103, 000 jobs in December, well below expectations for 150,000 new jobs. However the unemployment rate dropped from 9.8 percent to 9.4 percent.

Before a congressional committee, Fed chief Ben Bernanke said that although the economy will grow moderately stronger growth, it will take four to five years before the unemployment rate falls to normal levels.

Meanwhile, the state supreme court in Massachusetts ruled against U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) in which the judge voided some foreclosures. The decision raising concerns about the entire banking sector.

The KBW Bank Index (NYSE: BKX) tumbled almost 1 percent.

Oil futures edged down 1 cent per barrel; gold slipped as well.

Bonds rose, with the 10-year Treasury yield moving down to 3.33 percent.