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Stocks Up Slightly Despite Retail Plunge

On what is expected to be a light day of trading, stocks are slightly higher this morning despite data showing, as Bloomberg put it, "what may be the biggest holiday-shopping sales decline in four decades."

Women's clothing, electronics and jewelry all saw at least 20 percent declines in sales in November and December, Bloomberg reported.

“It’s been difficult, much more difficult than anyone expected,” Gilbert Harrison, chairman and chief executive of retail advisory firm Financo, said today in a Bloomberg Television interview from West Palm Beach, Florida. Consumers “will spend on necessities, they’ll spend on what they need, but they’re being very particular in what they’ll buy.”

Wall Street seems to have expected the news, though. The Dow is up 40 points, or 0.5 percent, to 8,509. The S&P 500 is up 6 points, or 0.7 percent, to 871. And the Nasdaq is up 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,526.

-- Michael S. Rosenwald

By Michael S. Rosenwald  |  December 26, 2008; 9:50 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  
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