Tech, Energy & Retail Stocks Take a Hit
Stocks declined in thin post-Thanksgiving trading as traders took a breather after four straight days of gains.
U.S. financial markets will close at 1 p.m. ET.
Before the Thanksgiving holiday, stocks logged their best four-day point gain everand best four-day percentage gain since 1932, with the Dow gaining nearly 1,200 points.
Asian markets ended the week mostly higher, led by Tokyo and Sydney, while European stocks were slightly lower.
Investors will be keeping an eye on retailers on this Black Friday to see how this season is shaping up.
Retail CEOs were optimistic despite analyst expectations that this will be the worst holiday season for retailers in decades.
In recent years, retailers have pushed their store openings earlier and earlier, with many opening their doors at the stroke of midnight.
But this year, fewer stores have opened that early, including Wal-Mart Stores the world's largest retailer, and Best Buy, which have both will welcome shoppers at 5 am.
Still, more consumers are saying they will be out shopping on Friday. Twenty-six percent of consumers surveyed by Consumer Reports said they plan to hit the mall this Black Friday. That's higher than last year, when 21 percent of consumers went shopping.
Apple shares skidded as predictions that the gadget guru would go nuts with 15-percent off today failed to materialize. An iPhone, touch, for example, was about $21 off on Apple.com -- not even 10 percent off the $299 price tag. Some of the better deals on the site are from third-party software and gadgets, trade media like Gizmodo are reporting.
Amazon is expected to fare better than its rivals, logging 12 to 15 percent growth, but still, the world's largest online retailer isn't taking any chances, rolling out a series of holiday promotions focused on low prices.
>> Check in on how the holiday season is shaping up at CNBC's Holiday Central.
Yahoo rose after Carl Icahn raised his stake in the Internet portal to 5.5 percent, buying nearly 7 million more shares, according to regulatory filings. Icahn had threatened to oust Yahoo's board this summer after the company rejected an offer from Microsoft.
Overall, tech stocks underperformed the broader market, with chip stocks down more than 1 percent, after STMicroelectronics became the latest chip maker to slash its fourth-quarter outlook.
Earlier this month, industry leader Intel cut its fourth-quarter revenue forecast by 14 percent.
As big auto makers vie to get their hands on some government cash, General Motors is looking to raise $257 million by selling some of its European offices, the Financial Times reported. The plan is part of a global push by the car maker to raise up to $4 billion from asset sales and capital market transactions as it runs critically short of cash, the paper said. In the U.S., the company is looking to sell and lease back the Renaissance Center, the Detroit skyscraper complex that serves as its headquarters, the paper said.
Chevron slipped as oil prices dropped nearly $2 a barrelahead of an OPEC meeting this weekend.
One technical analyst said oil prices will rise in the next few months but after that, it's going down to near $20 a barrel and that will be the bottom.
Meanwhile, Europe was hit by more bad news as the European unemployment rate jumped to 7.7 percent while inflation fell to 2.1 percent, boosting expectations of a deep interest rate cut by the European Central Bank next week.
And Indian commandos traded fire with Islamist militants as the endgame neared at a luxury hotel and a Jewish center in Mumbai, but it was suspected that the gunmen were still holding a handful of foreign hostages.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pinned blame for the attacks on militant groups based in India's neighbors, an allusion to Pakistan, raising prospects of renewed tension between the nuclear-armed rivals.