Stocks ended mixed today amid largely negative retail news and nervousness on unemployment, MarketWatch reports. Investors were shaken by poor December earnings and a reduced quarterly forecast posted by Wal-Mart, which managed to perform well through 2008. The Dow fell 27.24 to close at 8,742.46. The Nasdaq, however, rose 17.95, to 1,617.01, and the S&P 500 gained 3.08 to close at 909.73.
Shares of fellow retailers Gap, Macy’s and Limited Brands fell after the firms cut profit forecasts, but the sector also saw good news from Sears, which gained 23%, and a big jump in December videogame sales from Game Stop, which rose 13.1%. Microsoft led modest gains in tech, up 3%, on the belief companies will be able to weather the continuing slump better due to lower overhead and global reach.