Stocks Go South at Bell

Dow down 150
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 4, 2008 8:48 AM CST
A specialist works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2008.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
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(Newser) – Stocks took a modest dip at the open, amid a weak round of retail sales numbers and general economic pessimism. The Dow fell 81 points, while the S&P and Nasdaq dropped 1.3% and 1.4% respectively, the Wall Street Journal reports. Stocks started to the downside yesterday, but finished up 172 after a report that the Treasury would cut mortgage rates.

Bargain hunters are still flocking to Wal-Mart, which saw sales climb 3.4% last month. But as a whole the retail sector saw its worst sales in years, with roughly two-thirds missing already low estimates. A number of companies are also announcing job cuts, most notably AT&T, which is sending 12,000 workers packing. The Bank of England, meanwhile, cut its benchmark to 2%, its lowest rate since its inception in 1694.