Stocks ended slightly down today partly in response to falling oil prices, which could provide a possible jump-start for consumer spending, the Wall Street Journal reports. "Considering that oil was near $100 not too long ago, this is a big move," one trader said. The Dow ended down 34.95 to 12,466.16, the Nasdaq 23.00 to 2,394.59, and the S&P 7.75 to 1,373.20.
Some analysts were wondering whether the Federal Reserve might cut rates even before its scheduled meeting at the end of January, reports the Journal. And disappointing fourth-quarter results from Intel squelched some of the enthusiasm over the good performance of IBM, depressing the tech sector.