Updated from 4:04 p.m. EST
Stocks closed lower Tuesday, held back by a weaker dollar and mixed economic news, as investors struggled to restart the end-of-year rally.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
shed 47.88 points, or 0.46%, to 10,428.02, putting it back into negative territory for the year, while the
shed 4.75 points, or 0.4%, to 1173.82. The
, which had been flirting with an 11-month high Monday, lost 10.06 points, or 0.48%, to 2096.81.
Volume on the
was 1.59 billion shares, while 1.88 billion shares changed hands on the Nasdaq. Decliners beat advancers roughly 4 to 3 on the NYSE and about 3 to 1 on the Nasdaq.
The 10-year Treasury note fell 9/32 to yield 4.35%, its highest yield in almost four months, while the dollar was again at an all-time low against the euro and also lower vs. the yen. Crude oil for January delivery closed 63 cents lower at $49.13 a barrel in Nymex floor trading, having cleared $50 earlier in the session.
"The story continues to be the rapid rise in bond yields, which is hurting equities," said Brian Williamson, an equity trader with Boston Company Asset Management. "You're seeing a lot of foreign selling in U.S. debt, mostly because of the falling dollar. With the dollar continuing to get hit, you're seeing the same rotation out of the U.S. equities, since they're becoming worth less."
Markets spent the day digesting three big economic reports, including an upward adjustment of third-quarter economic growth and lower-than-expected consumer confidence.
The Commerce Department raised its estimate of third-quarter gross domestic product growth to 3.9% from the 3.7% it forecast last month. The reading, which beat estimates, reflected strong consumer spending and profit growth and a better-than-expected reading on business investment.
Elsewhere, the Conference Board said consumer confidence unexpectedly fell to 90.5 in November from 92.9 in October. The number is the lowest since March of this year, continuing a four-month slide. The Chicago purchasing managers' index also fell, registering 65.2 in November, compared with 68.5 in the prior month, which was a 17-year high. Still, the number was better than forecast.
"The market is reliant on strong economic growth statistics," said Barry Hyman, equity market strategist for Ehrenkrantz King & Nussbaum, pointing to the confidence reading. "It isn't going to withstand news of continuing disappointments in the economy, not living up to expectations. But we are in a good seasonal period with selling hopefully controlled."
lost almost 13% after a stunningly weak November sales report that forced the company to lower fourth-quarter earnings estimates. Hot Topic reported an 8% decline in monthly same-store results and put earnings at 37 cents to 43 cents a share, down from its old estimate of 49 cents to 52 cents a share. Hot Topic fell $2.47 to $16.37.
While Hot Topic is not a huge company, its warning came on the heels of
big sales revision and spooked investors looking for signs of strength heading into Christmas. Wal-Mart finished Tuesday down $1.09, or 2.1%, to $52.06.
Other retailers continued to slide Tuesday.
dropped $1.40, or 2.4%, to $56.38;
lost 68 cents, or 1.3%, to $51.22;
fell $1.61, or 3.4%, to $46.16; and
lost $1, or 2.3%, to $42.50.
reaffirmed its full-year outlook at an analyst meeting Tuesday. The drugmaker still expects 2004 earnings per share of $1.58 to $1.60 including charges, and $2.12 to $2.14 excluding charges. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call expected earnings of $2.13 per share, excluding charges. Pfizer rose 44 cents, or 1.6%, to $27.77.
was downgraded to hold from buy by Deutsche Bank, which cited potential risks related to the pharmaceutical group's launch execution of multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri. Elan lost $1.07, or 3.9%, to $26.40.
Banc of America Securities initiated coverage of
with a sell recommendation, saying the company will be constrained by falling commissions due to continual price-cutting. Ameritrade fell 39 cents, or 2.7%, to $13.93.
had its rating cut overnight to neutral from buy by UBS, which cited the stock's 21% appreciation over the last two months. Barrick Gold finished down 80 cents, or 3.1%, to $24.59.
Overseas stocks closed lower. London's FTSE 100 shed 1% to 4703 and Germany's Xetra DAX down 0.5% at 4126. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei fell 0.7% overnight to 10,899, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng sagged 0.1% to 14,060.