U.S. stocks open slightly lower on the open, amid growing certainty that General Motors will file for bankruptcy after its failed debt-for-stock offer. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 31 points to 8,441. GM shares are down 13%. The S&P 500 index declined 3 points to 907, while the Nasdaq Composite dipped 8 points to 1,742. Adding to overall concerns, Monsanto lowered its earnings guidance. That stock is down 5%. The retail sector is mixed this morning. Zale is down 20% after missing estimates. Big Lots is down 6% on a downgrade. Staples, Auto Zone, and Cracker Barrel are lower following earnings. However, Ralph Lauren, American Eagle, Dollar Tree, and Chicos are higher following earnings. The financials are mixed this morning. Goldman Sachs is higher on a upgrade. Bank of America is higher after raising more capital. But KeyCorp and PNC are lower following their attempts to raise more capital. In the tech sector, Google, Research in Motion, and Symantec are higher thanks to upgrades. After the first hour the averages were not far from where they started. The Dow was down 27 points. The Nasdaq rose 11 points. Through the morning the Nasdaq improved while the Dow inched back to the unchanged level. In the afternoon, the averages started to sell off as Treasury interest rates backed up. In the last hour the selling accelerated. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 173 points, or 2%, at 8,300. The S&P 500 index fell 17 points, or 2%, to end at 893, while the Nasdaq Composite dipped 19 points, or 1.1%, to end at 1,731.
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