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Stocks fall even as strong start to holiday shopping season lifts retailers

Retailers posted solid gains on reports the holiday shopping season is off to a strong start. Investors also cheered some corporate deals and looked ahead to several economic reports and potential market-moving news out of Washington this week.
(Mary Altaffer / Associated Press)

A sluggish day of trading on Wall Street finished Monday with stocks edging mostly lower as investors came back from the Thanksgiving holiday.

Energy stocks declined the most following a slide in crude oil prices. Materials companies also declined, partly offsetting gains among utilities and industrial stocks.

Retailers posted solid gains on reports that the holiday shopping season is off to a strong start.

Investors also cheered some corporate deals and looked ahead to several economic reports and potential market-moving news out of Washington this week.

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The Standard & Poor’s 500 index slipped 1 point to 2,601.42. The Dow Jones industrial average edged up 22.79 points to 23,580.78. The Nasdaq composite fell 10.64 points to 6,878.52. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks lost 5.85 points to 1,513.31.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.33% from 2.34% late Friday.

Losses among energy stocks weighed on the market Monday as oil prices declined. Benchmark U.S. crude fell 84 cents, or 1.4%, to settle at $58.11 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, declined 2 cents to close at $63.84 in London.

Chip makers were also among the market’s big laggards, led by Western Digital. The stock was the biggest decliner in the S&P 500, sliding $6.23, or 6.7%, to $86.55.

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Several retailers closed higher as the holiday shopping season moved into high gear. Newell Brands climbed $1.42, or 5%, to $29.79, while Amazon added $9.83, or 0.8%, to $1,195.83. L Brands rose $1.98, or 4.1%, to $50.34.

Traders also welcomed the latest news on the corporate deal front.

Time rose almost 10% after agreeing to be acquired by Meredith for $1.8 billion, or $18.50 a share. Meredith owns TV stations and magazines including Better Homes & Gardens. Time surged $1.60, or 9.5%, to $18.50, while Meredith gained $6.55, or 10.7%, to $67.55.

It’s a busy week on the data front, with several manufacturing figures due at the end of the week. Investors also will have their eye on outgoing Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet L. Yellen’s remarks before Congress and a possible vote in the Senate on its version of a tax overhaul bill.

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Gold rose $7.10 to $1,294.40 an ounce. Silver added 3 cents to $17.02 an ounce. Copper slid 4 cents to $3.13 a pound.

The dollar weakened to 111.01 yen from 111.58 yen. The euro fell to $1.1899 from $1.1927.


UPDATES:

3:25 p.m.: This article was updated with data from the market’s close.

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8:50 a.m.: This article was updated with the latest stock market trading data.

8 a.m.: This article was updated with the latest stock market trading data.

This article was originally published at 6:55 a.m.


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