U.S. stocks set to give back some of the 550 points rally from yesterday. Unfortunately, the economic data continues to move from bad to worse. The European Euro Zone is officially in a recession. U.S. retail sales dropped a record 2.8% in October. JC Penney lowered guidance this morning. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 117 points to 8,717. The S&P 500 declined 15 points to 895, while the Nasdaq Composite shed 32 points to 1,564. JC Penney and most of the retail sector are down, but less than 1%. Norstrom, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Christopher & Bank are three of the weakest retailers after dismal earnings. Kohls is up 3.5% after beating estimates. The averages improved after the open led by the financials. Insider buying yesterday from GE, Citigroup, and Blackrock are helping a little bit. Citigroup is laying off more employees. At 10 o'clock, better than expected consumer sentiment allowed the averages to inch closer to the unchanged level. The healthcare sector is modestly higher. Pfizer and Schering Plough are higher on upgrades. After the first hour, the averages had sold back off to new lows. The Dow was down 200 points. The Nasdaq declined 50 points. Very few stocks are higher. Citigroup and the rest of the financials are lower once again. Entering the lunch hour, the Dow was down 300 points. Here we go again. The averages did recover through the afternoon. Secretary Paulson made more comments regarding the TARP to respond to recent backlash. Citigroup is trying to recover as news broke the CEO will address employees on Monday. Hopefully he will say something good. The insurance stocks are rallying pretty good. Today is the last day to apply for TARP money so Hartford Financial went out bought a bank and immediately applied for TARP money. I don't know if that's right, but the stock is up 24%. Prudential is up 5%. Entering the last hour, the Dow had recovered all the losses. The Nasdaq was still down 17 points. Citigroup and a few other banks are modestly positive. The Dow rallied 80 points before selling back off. The Dow fell 200 points, recovered, then dropped like a stone in the last 10 minutes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 337 points, or 3.8%, to end at 8,497, leaving the blue-chip index down 5% for the week. The S&P 500 dropped 38 points, or 4.2%, to 873, translating into a weekly loss of 6.2%. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite shed 79 points, or 5%, to finish at 1,516, dropping 7.9% on the week.
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