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Saturday, 26 November 2011 | 00:00
DJ30 PointChange: -25.61 Level: 11229.51 NASDAQ PointChange: -18.50 Level: 2440.04 SP500 PointChange: -3.12 Level: 1157.7 NASDAQ-Adv:811 Dec: 1549 NYSE-Adv:1398 Dec: 1486 [BRIEFING.COM] The major market averages ended lower as the Nasdaq paced the decline with a loss of 0.8%. Today marked the seventh consecutive close in the red for the S&P 500, during which the index has fallen 7.8%. Today's slide caps off the worst Thanksgiving week ever for stocks as the S&P 500 tumbled 4.7%.

Financials were the top performers today as the S&P 500 Financial Index gained 0.4% collectively. Citigroup (C $23.63, +$0.12) and Bank of America (BAC $5.17, +$0.03), two of the more heavily beaten down names in the space, saw solid gains.

Shares of AT&T (T $27.41, -$0.14) fell 0.5% after the company announced it was withdrawing its T-Mobile merger plan from further consideration by the Federal Communications Commission. The company announced it will first focus on receiving approval from the U.S. Justice Department which filed a lawsuit to block the merger. AT&T is setting aside $4 billion which it would need to pay T-Mobile's parent company Deutsche Telekom should the deal collapse.

Retailers underperformed despite today's excitement over Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year. The SPDR S&P Retail Index (XRT $48.50, -$0.48) lost 1.0% after running to a gain of 0.7% early in the session. Online retailer Amazon (AMZN $182.40, -$6.59) was one of the worst performers in the space, ending down 3.5%. Home improvement stores Home Depot (HD $36.47, -$0.05) and Lowe's (LOW $22.68, +$0.20) outperformed while electronics retailer Best Buy (BBY $25.63, -$0.08) slid into the red.

Commodities were mixed as precious metals sold off while energy traded flat to higher. After a brief run into positive territory gold ended the day down more than $10 near $1685. Silver, the more speculative of the precious metals, fell more than 2.5% to finish the day just above the $31 level. Crude oil ran to session highs near $97.50 before paring its gains and ending near $96 per barrel. Natural gas outperformed all session long, gaining 1.5% to $3.51.

Markets were closed on Thursday in observance of Thanksgiving.

Widespread weakness on Wednesday resulted in a broad-based sell-off that sent stocks to their lowest level in more than a month. The descent came as market participants, already feeling bearish, reacted to the Fed's decision to increase capital controls for banks. Participants remained pessimistic following underwhelming data from abroad and an in-line initial jobless claims report, mixed durable goods orders data, and a mixed reading on personal income and spending.

On Tuesday stocks overcame disappointment related to downward revision to third quarter GDP, but a loss of momentum left the major averages to roll over. Stocks managed to rebound because of a combination of technical support and a headline that the IMF has established a new liquidity line, but the effort still failed to give stocks a positive finish.

Market participants were put into a negative mindset at the start of the week by renewed concerns about financial conditions in Europe's periphery and core after Moody's issued cautious comments about France's debt rating outlook. Bias was also imbued by the inability of U.S. officials to look past partisan politics in an effort to address domestic fiscal conditions. Such discouraging themes came as many participants continued to reflect on a significant technical breakdown that took place late in the previous week.

Source: Briefing

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