For a second-straight day, major proxies fought a mainly uphill battle, trying to recoup lost ground. In contrast to Wednesday , however, the comeback trail proved too steep on Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 1.3% to 8623.28 and not far from its intraday low of 8608.75. Similarly, the S&P 500 shed 1.2% to 906.55 after trading as low as 905.90 while the Nasdaq Composite lost 1.4% to 1410.80 vs. its nadir of 1411.10. Some fundamental events spurred the decline, but some positive developments were overlooked, which is a marked change from recent trends. Issues weighing on shares included lackluster comparable-store retail sales for November, which pushed the S&P Retail Index down 1.9%; cautious comments from Gateway ( GTW), which lost 17%; and heightened prospects for a bankruptcy filing by UAL ( UAL), which tumbled 68% after the Air Transportation Stabilization Board rejected its application for a $1.8 billion federal loan guarantee. Amid concern about the fallout of a UAL bankruptcy on the aerospace industry, shares of Boeing ( BA), United Technologies ( UTX), General Electric ( GE) and Honeywell ( HON) were big drags on major averages. Additionally, there were worries about Intel's ( INTC) midquarter update after the close, Friday's employment report, as well as the approaching deadline for Iraqi compliance. (Intel, which slid 4% during regular-hours trading, raised guidance for fourth-quarter sales shortly after the close.) However, the declines also came amid some positive news developments, including a larger-than-expected, 50-basis-point rate cut from the European Central Bank, another drop in weekly jobless claims, an upbeat forecast from Merck ( MRK), which rose 0.7%, and raised guidance by Advanced Micro Devices ( AMD). A few weeks ago, such a combination of news would have sent shares skyward, particularly those of the chip and related groups. AMD rallied 5.1%, but the Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index shed 1.1%, further evidence that the worm has turned to the negative on Wall Street, at least for the time being.