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Market Wrap: Stocks Take A Break And Yahoo! Shakes It Up


The major market indexes took a breather today – all closing modestly lower - in spite of a strong ADP report showing an extra 158,000 jobs added in the private sector in November. Mary Thompson sorted out the market activity – she’s CNBC’s “Eye on the Floor.” Investors are now looking to the U.S. jobs report to create some movement in the markets. That's due out Friday.

Among stocks trading lower today: Merck , after reaffirming its flat revenue forecast - ExxonMobil , General Motors , and Ford . Ford shares took a hit after the company increased its sale of bonds 50% to $4.5 billion. Analysts say Ford is trying to raise money ahead of its union negotiations next year – and in case it has to pay for employee buyouts.

But there were some winners on the big board despite a sluggish trading day: Coca-Cola , Caterpillar , and Home Depot   all traded higher. Homebuilding stocks were up on news of an increase in mortgage applications.

Over on the Nasdaq, a major reorganization at Yahoo! made major news today but failed to boost the lagging stock - down 30% YTD. Yahoo is currently the most visited Web site in the world - but it has the ever-expanding Google hot on its heels for the number one spot.

And in an exclusive First on CNBC interview--Maria Bartiromo interviewed Yahoo! CEO Terry Semel on what the shakeup means to the company and its investors. Semel said he has no plans to leave the company. And he said the re-organization will not stop their new Panama advertising system.

And crude oil prices fell today after forecasts for warmer weather mean consumers will be using less heating oil this winter - this even though a new government report noted unexpected declines in crude and gasoline inventories.