US STOCKS-Wall St edges down after recent rally; retailers weigh

Rodrigo Campos
Reuters Middle East

* Euro zone finance ministers in third attempt at Greek deal

* Knight Capital shares jump on bid talks

* Apple, eBay, Amazon lead Nasdaq higher

* Dow off 0.3 pct; S&P down 0.2 pct; Nasdaq up 0.3 pct

NEW YORK, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Wall Street slipped on Monday,

pulling back from last week's gains, as retailers fell on

concerns about heavy discounts at the start of the U.S. holiday

shopping season and the overhang of the "fiscal cliff" kept

investors wary of making big bets.

The Nasdaq outperformed to close higher, led by gains in

eBay and as Apple continued its bounce back.

The Standard & Poor's 500 cut most of its losses during the

session and managed to stay above the psychologically important

1,400 level. It also remained above the 200-day moving average,

maintaining its long-term uptrend.

The S&P 500 consumer discretionary index fell 0.5

percent after the start of the holiday shopping season over the

four-day Thanksgiving weekend. Target, one of the

largest retailers by market value, fell 2.6 percent.

"The concern is big retailers are discounting so much, sales

look better, but at what cost?" said Angel Mata, managing

director of listed equity trading at Stifel Nicolaus Capital

Markets in Baltimore.

Bucking the retail trend, shares of eBay closed at

their highest in almost eight years, rising 4.9 percent to

$51.40, as the online marketplace notched strong sales on "Cyber

Monday." Amazon gained 1.6 percent to $243.62.

The White House threw cold water on a proposal of avoiding

the looming "fiscal cliff" of spending cuts and tax highs by

limiting tax deductions and loopholes, instead of allowing tax

rates to rise for the richest Americans.

Investors are hoping for advances in talks over the $600

billion in spending cuts and tax hikes scheduled to begin next

year, which threaten to drag the U.S. economy back into


Indications of progress in talks, or just political

willingness to negotiate, contributed to the market's recent

rally. Major indexes last week gained 3 to 4 percent, with the

Dow above 13,000 and the S&P above 1,400 for the first time

since Nov. 6.

Those gains represented a turnaround from recent losses

founded on worries about Washington's ability to solve budgetary


The Dow Jones industrial average fell 42.31 points,

or 0.33 percent, to 12,967.37. The S&P 500 dropped 2.86

points, or 0.20 percent, to 1,406.29. The Nasdaq Composite

gained 9.93 points, or 0.33 percent, to 2,976.78.

About 5.2 billion shares changed hands on the New York Stock

Exchange, the Nasdaq and NYSE MKT, below the daily average so

far this year of about 6.49 billion shares.

On the NYSE, roughly 13 issues fell for every 10 that rose,

and on Nasdaq nearly six rose for every five that fell.

In the other major worry for the market, euro zone finance

ministers and the International Monetary Fund made their third

attempt in as many weeks to agree on releasing emergency aid for

Greece, with policymakers saying a write-down of Greek debt is

off the table for now.

"There's no catalyst to continue the rally we saw last week,

though Greece would have been important if we weren't dealing

with the fiscal cliff," Stifel Nicolaus' Mata said.

Shares of Knight Capital Group Inc jumped 13.3

percent to $2.82 following reports that rivals might be

preparing to bid for part or all of the trading firm.

Apple Inc has asked a federal court to add six more

products to its patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung

Electronics, including the Samsung Galaxy Note II,

in the latest move in an ongoing legal war between the two

companies. Apple shares were up 3.2 percent at $589.53.

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