Eurozone fears dampen markets on Wall Street

US stocks edged down in a low-volume session yesterday on worries Europe’s credit crisis will spread, despite a weekend agreement to bail out Ireland.

But stocks finished well off their lows of the day as the dollar retraced some of its earlier gains and energy and financial stocks rallied later.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 39.51 points, or 0.36 per cent, to 11,052.49. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 1.64 points, or 0.14 per cent, to 1,187.76. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 9.34 points, or 0.37 per cent, to 2,525.22.

In the wake of a stronger-than-expected start to the holiday shopping season, investors took profits on a two-week rally in retail stocks. The S&P retail index fell 0.7 per cent.

Online retailer Amazon rose 1.3 per cent to end at $179.49 on expectations of solid sales on “Cyber Monday”, a day of steep discounts for online shoppers.

The CBOE Volatility index, known as Wall Street’s fear gauge, rose three per cent to hit its highest level since early October, indicating anxiety among investors was increasing.