Wall Street Trades Mixed

Stocks on Wall Street were trading narrowly mixed as a federal bailout of the Big Three automakers neared and as investors mull the latest retail and housing numbers.
Publish date:

Updated from 10:28 a.m. EST

Stocks in New York, which opened Tuesday with losses, were lately trading mixed as investors took in the latest monthly housing and retail sales data.


Dow Jones Industrial Average

was down 29 points at 8904, while the

S&P 500

was up 4.9 points at 914. The


was gaining 27 points at 1599.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that pending home sales dropped about 0.7% in October, from September. Consensus expectations were for a steeper, 3% drop. Existing-home sales are getting a boost from sales of foreclosed homes, which have been accounting for as much as 30% to 40% of sales in some areas of the nation, according to the report.

Other data released on Tuesday showed continued weakness in retail and chain store sales. The International Council of Shopping Centers weekly chains stores data showed a 0.8% drop in sales for the week of Dec. 6 compared to the week prior. The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index showed an 0.8% decline for the same week compared to the month prior.

Meanwhile, stocks in the shipping sector were struggling after


(FDX) - Get Report

cut its 2009 earnings and expense guidance.

Analysts at Barclays cut estimates and price target for FedEx to reflect the company's earnings warning. Meanwhile, JPMorgan downgraded fellow package delivery company


(UPS) - Get Report

to neutral from overweight.

Also, trucking firm



cut its 2008 profit guidance late Monday by roughly 15%, as it wrestles with reduced demand for shipping goods. The company also said it cut about 8% of its workforce, or 1,450 jobs, last week.

Shares of FedEx, UPS and Con-Way were trading with losses.

Under proposed legislation submitted by Congress to the White House Monday afternoon, the Big Three automakers --


(F) - Get Report


General Motors

(GM) - Get Report



-- would receive up to $15 billion in emergency aid.

Under the plan, the federal government would tap an existing loan program meant to help the automakers build fuel-efficient vehicles. The legislation would also permit the U.S. government to receive warrants for stock that equate to at least 20% of loans given to the automakers.

A federal official, dubbed the "

car czar

," would oversee a government-run retooling of the automakers. And the United Auto Workers (UAW) union might request an equity stake or board seat in one of the automakers in return for making contract concessions to help the automakers, according to a report in

The Wall Street Journal


In company news, Japanese electronics company


(SNE) - Get Report

said its cutting 8,000 jobs and will close 10,000 factories in hopes of saving roughly $1.1 billion annually.

Auto parts retailer


(AZO) - Get Report

said its fiscal first-quarter profit also fell slightly under higher expenses and weak U.S. same-store sales -- due to disruption caused by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, and of course, the economy.

In commodities, crude oil was rising 34 cents to $44.05 a barrel. Gold was gaining $1.10 to $770.40 an ounce.

Longer-dated U.S. Treasury securities were mixed. The 10-year was flat to yield 2.74%, and the 30-year was adding 10/32, yielding 3.14%. The dollar was stronger against the euro, pound and the yen.

Overseas, European exchanges such as the FTSE in London and the DAX in Frankfurt were trading higher -- up 1.5% and 0.9%, respectively. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei ended higher, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng ended with losses.

According to Japanese government officials, the country fell deeper into a recession in the third quarter than it originally surmised, impaired by the economic downturn.

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