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TMCNet:  Weak Start to Holiday Shopping Continues to Take Stocks Lower

[December 03, 2013]

Weak Start to Holiday Shopping Continues to Take Stocks Lower

(Equities.com Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Stocks ended lower for the second consecutive trading session on Tuesday, with losses threatening to put a bookend on about two straight months of gains that saw benchmark indices establishing new all-time highs on several occasions.


The commencement, in earnest, of the holiday shopping season underwhelmed Wall Street with less spending (and deaths) than expected on the so-called "Black Friday" annual ritual. Consumer discretionary and cyclical stocks took substantial losses, putting significant downward pressure on the broader markets. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was 0.32 percent lower at 1,795.15 points, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was off by 0.59 percent to 15,914.62 points, and the NASDAQ closed one fifth of a percent lower to 4,037.20 points.

The biggest losses on the Dow were taken by E.I. du Pont de Nemours (DD) , off by more than 2 percent, followed by drug manufacturer Pfizer Inc. ($PFI) who also lost over 2 percent after being removed from Goldman Sachs' (GS) much vaunted "Conviction Buy" list. Investors looking for healthcare plays, however, can still rely on a number of biotech stocks that have performed incredibly well in 2013.

On the S&P 500, consumer goods and services companies were mostly lower, with high-volume drops for Ford Motor Co. (F) , General Motors (GM) , Delta Airlines (DAL) , and Lowe's (LOW) . Formerly popular apparel-maker Abercrombie & Fitch bucked this trend, however, ending the day nearly 6 percent higher after shareholders called for the replacement of CEO Michael Jefferies.

The NASDAQ provided the most impressive performances of the day, particularly with the help of Tesla Motors (TSLA) , who jumped nearly 17 percent after the German Federal Motor Authority released a reportthat said fires that have broken out in the company's Model S sedans over the last year have not been the result of manufacturing flaws. A number of tech shares performed well, with Apple Inc. (AAPL) up 2.67 percent, and semiconductor manufacturer Micron Technology (MU) was up 2.6 percent.

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