Among technology stocks, Microsoft ( MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer said he is no longer considering an acquisition of Yahoo! ( YHOO), although he remains open to a collaboration on search. Yahoo! head Jerry Yang, who had been an opponent of a merger between the two companies, said on Tuesday that he would be leaving the CEO spot. Microsoft gave back 6.8% to $18.29, and Yahoo! shares slumped 21% to $9.14.

In earnings news, bulk retailer BJ's Wholesale ( BJ) reported rising third-quarter profit that was aided by gasoline sales. Shares slipped 0.5% to $33.42.

As to analyst actions, Goldman Sachs put BlackBerry maker Research In Motion ( RIMM) on its conviction buy list. RIM shares dropped 4.1% to $45.33.

In the realm of commodities, crude oil fell 77 cents to settle at $53.62 a barrel. The Energy Department said crude inventories climbed by 1.6 million barrels for the week ended Nov. 14, whereas economists were expecting a rise of 800,000 barrels. Gold added $3.30 to close at $736 an ounce.

Action Alerts PLUS

Longer-dated U.S. Treasury securities were soaring in price. The 10-year note was up 1-14/32 to yield 3.36%, and the 30-year was rocketing 3-1/32, yielding 3.95%. The dollar was retreating vs. the euro, yen and pound.

Overseas, the FTSE in London and the DAX in Frankfurt were both trading lower. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei and Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed with losses.

If you liked this article you might like

BofA Capital Levels Fine, CFO Says

BofA Capital Levels Fine, CFO Says

Financial Winners and Losers: Wells Fargo

Financial Winners and Losers: Wells Fargo

Financial Winners & Losers: Citigroup

Financial Winners & Losers: Citigroup

Financial Winners & Losers: Bank of America

Financial Winners & Losers: Bank of America

BofA, Citi Hit by Fitch Downgrades

BofA, Citi Hit by Fitch Downgrades