Stocks headed south at the open today, as traders worried over a weak holiday season and the crashing auto industry. The Dow fell 166 points, while the S&P and Nasdaq shed 1.9% and 1.5% respectively. The latest sign of a retail apocalypse came from Best Buy, which slashed its 2009 outlook while warning of “rapid, seismic changes in consumer behavior.” Its shares fell 10%.
Macy’s meanwhile, swung to a loss in the third quarter, but shares of the retailer actually rose 2%, because the declines were less than anticipated. In bailout news, American Express shares fell 8% following a Wall Street Journal report that it was looking for $3.5 billion from the government.