Stocks turned in a mixed showing today as investors continued to fret about consumers' willingness to spend.
The Dow Jones industrial average finished with a loss of 27 points at 8,742. However, advancing issues on the New York Stock Exchange led losers 19-12 on volume of about 4.3 billion shares. The Nasdaq composite index was up 18 points at the 1,617 level, with roughly 1.9 billion shares traded. And the S&P 500 added three points, closing at 909.
A major factor in today's trading was a profit warning from Wal-Mart and news that December sales at stores open for at least a year rose by 1.2 percent. That's worse than analysts had expected.
In addition, investors were looking ahead to tomorrow's release of the December employment report, which could show the loss of a-half million jobs during the month.
This program aired on January 8, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.