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RealTime IT News

Stocks Tumble After Solid Start

Investors jumped out of the gates after the Christmas and Hanukkah weekend holidays to a solid start, but major indexes tumbled by the end of the regular trading day on concerns that the economy may be slowing.

The NASDAQ composite ended down 1 percent at 2,226.89 after it shed 22.53 points on the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 105.50 to end the day at 10,777.77.

The culprit there appeared to be the bond markets, which saw yields inverted in the 10-year and two-year Treasury notes for the first time in five years. Market watchers say this is one of the indicators they study for signs of the economy, and whether it's lowing.

Plus, investors were lackluster over early results from online retailers as well as the major retailers such as Wal-Mart.

Despite an announcement from Amazon.com touting its best year ever in sales, shares of the online retailing giant lost 66 cents, or 1.34 percent to close at $48.56 Tuesday.

Shares of discount online retailer Overstock shed $2.49, or 7.40 percent to close at $31.50 after the company told Bloomberg news that its holiday sales were OK.

During an appearance on Bloomberg Television, Patrick Byrne, Overstock.com president, said that fourth quarter growth had slowed to two times the industry average rather than the three to four times that the company had posted in the past. In a release about the appearance, the company said overall, sales were decent for the holiday season.

"We've had a nice holiday season, just not as nice a season as we've had in the past or as I'd hoped for," said Byrne.

In after hours trading, shares were off by another 7 cents.

By most accounts, retailers and online retailers were reporting fair sales results from early data following the Christmas selling season -- nothing off the charts, but not bad either.

Wal-Mart said same-store sales were up by between 2 percent and 4 percent in December as it had forecast. Shares were heading back up in after-hours trading after it shed 61 cents to close at $47.73 during the regular trading day.

Shares of Sirius Satellite Radio rose by 16 cents to $6.97 on news that the satellite radio company has passed the 3 million mark on subscriptions.

So much for a Santa Claus rally. Volumes of trades were light so far as many traders are still off this week.

Technical analysis will return after the New Year's holiday