Dow Opens Weakly
Wall Street sort of wandered aimlessly out of the gates this morning before heading downhill.
After the first 30 minutes of trading, the Dow is trading down about 140 points, or about 1.5 percent.
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq are both down about 2 percent.
How do you explain Monday's rally, which has been followed by consecutive declines?
One trader speaking on CNBC this morning summed it up: It was a bull rally in the middle of a bear market.
In other economic news this morning, the nation's retailers reported what looks like the weakest October sales in years.
The sole bright spot was Wal-Mart -- driven largely by grocery sales -- which reported a 2.4 percent gain in October sales compared to October 2007. Discounters such as Wal-Mart are likely to show gains during the recession, while other retailers may suffer.
Target reported a 4.8 percent drop in October sales; analysts had expected a 2.8 percent drop at the Bullseye Boutique.
Here's a summary of October sales declines among higher-priced retailers, compared to October 2007:
- Abercrombie & Fitch: down 20 percent.
- Ann Taylor: down 19 percent. The retailer just announced a restructuring.
- Gap: down 16 percent.
- American Eagle: down 12 percent.
- Limited: down 9 percent.
- Macy's: Down 6.3 percent.
-- Frank Ahrens
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