The markets are set to open lower once again following more dismal economic news. Today we received weak, weak, weak November retail sales. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 63 points to 8,528. Two Dow components, AT&T & DuPont are slashing thousands of jobs. Both opened lower. The S&P 500 shed 8 points to 862 while the Nasdaq Composite declined 15 points to 1,476. After the first half an hour, the averages started to improve. Many of the retailers are higher even though most saw big declines in sales. The worse the sales decline, the better the stock is performing. Abercrombie & Fitch saw sales drop 28% yet the stock is up 6%. Walmart is up 2% as sales actually improved in November. The financials are trying to hold in there. Capital One is down 2% after announcing the acquisition of Chevy Chase Bank for $500 million. Toll Brothers is up 7% after reporting a quarterly loss. After the first hour the averages remained in the red, but not by much. Dow component, Merck is down 3% after fourth quarter guidance missed its target. Entering the lunch hour the averages moved lower. The retailers still look good while a select number of financials are holding in there. Morgan Stanley is up 11%. Entering the last hour the averages remained in the red. Ford and GM are trading lower. GM is down 11%. They don't seem to be convincing Congress. In the last hour the averages quickly accelerated to the downside. Investors seem scared about the unemployment numbers due out tomorrow morning. The Dow dropped over 300 points in the last hour before recovering into the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 215 points at 8,376. The S&P 500 shed 25 points to 845, while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 46 points to 1,445.
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