Weak Start to Holiday Shopping Continues to Take Stocks Lower

Michael Teague |

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.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer

Companies

Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
TSLA Tesla Motors Inc. 192.18 -0.11 -0.06 2,722,505
AAPL Apple Inc. 113.95 1.83 1.63 34,402,627
DAL Delta Air Lines Inc. 51.78 0.43 0.84 8,526,732
LOW Lowe\'s Companies Inc. 74.69 -0.55 -0.73 5,553,802
GS The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. 241.85 0.40 0.17 5,456,047
GM General Motors Company 37.66 1.24 3.40 26,434,231
DD E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. 74.85 0.17 0.23 2,358,921
F Ford Motor Company 13.17 0.14 1.07 45,256,112
MU Micron Technology Inc. 20.50 -0.16 -0.77 23,977,968
SALN Salon City Inc New 0.00 0.00 0.00 150

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