Wal-Mart Wallops Stocks

Weaker than expected sales at Wal-Mart sent stocks skidding on Monday, as investors wondered if the holiday shopping season will turn out to be a turkey.

Shares of Amazon and eBay followed Wal-Mart lower despite reports of strong online sales, as investors may have been looking for more there too.

Traders will get a clearer picture of retail sales Thursday, when retailers report November sales figures.

Also weighing on stocks Monday was Goldman Sachs’ 10-month S&P 500 target of 1460 — with just 4% of upside potential for stocks over the next 10 months, bonds and cash appear more attractive. A falling dollar, rising oil prices and a Barron’s article questioning Google’s valuation also contributed to the sell-off.

After the close, Palm continued the run of bad news, warning of weaker than expected sales because of a product certification delay.

The Nasdaq tumbled 54 to 2405, the S&P 500 lost 19 to 1381, and the Dow fell 158 to 12,121. Volume rose to 2.72 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.03 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 27-6 on the NYSE, and 25-6 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 86% on the NYSE, and 92% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 175-27 on the NYSE, and 94-50 on the Nasdaq.

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