WALL Street slipped yesterday, pulling back from last week’s gains, as retailers fell on concerns about heavy discounts at the start of the US holiday shopping season and the overhang of the “fiscal cliff” kept investors wary of making big bets.
The Nasdaq outperformed to close higher, led by gains in eBay and as Apple continued its bounce back.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 42.31 points, or 0.33 per cent, to 12,967.37. The Standard & Poor’s 500 dropped 2.86 points, or 0.20 pe rcent, to 1,406.29. The Nasdaq Composite gained 9.93 points, or 0.33 per cent, to 2,976.78.
The S&P 500 cut most of its losses during the session and managed to stay above the psychologically important 1,400 level. It also remained above the 200-day moving average, maintaining its long-term uptrend.
The S&P 500 consumer discretionary index fell 0.5 per cent after the start of the holiday shopping season over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend. Target, one of the largest retailers by market value, fell 2.6 per cent.
“The concern is big retailers are discounting so much, sales look better, but at what cost?” said Angel Mata, managing director of listed equity trading at Stifel Nicolaus Capital Markets.
Bucking the retail trend, shares of eBay closed at their highest in almost eight years, rising 4.9 per cent to $51.40, as the online marketplace notched strong sales on Cyber Monday.
Amazon gained 1.6 per cent to $243.62.