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.
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