Nov. 26 - Summary of business headlines: Nasdaq rallies for seventh day helped by Black Friday, Cyber Monday web sales; Retail stocks slump as holiday enthusiasm quickly fades; SEC chairman steps down; Bank of Canada governor gets job as Bank of England chief. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Investors are taking some money off the table after stocks enjoyed their best week in over five months. Concerns about a Greek rescue and little movement on the U.S. fiscal cliff were two reasons to halt the buying. The S&P 500 finished lower for the first time in six sessions, but the Nasdaq extends to a seven-day rally. Online retailers helped the Nasdaq climb after Black Friday sales topped $1 billion for the first time ever. And Cyber Monday is expected to bring even more dollars to the web. Patti Freeman Evans covers retailers and technology for Forrester Research. SOUNDBITE: PATTI FREEMAN EVANS, VP AND RESEARCH DIRECTOR, FORRESTER RESEARCH (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We continue to see stronger and stronger growth from online, whereas the offline counterpart is relatively flat, so retail is growing overall but a lot of the growth is coming from internet sales." Apple, Amazon, ebay, and Deckers were among some of the top point gainers on the Nasdaq. But that strength was not mimicked by many of the traditional retailers. Despite early openings and long lines during the Black Friday weekend, analysts are not convinced a strong start to the holiday shopping season will mean a strong finish. Sales topped $59 billion in the Thursday to Sunday period, up close to 13 percent from a year ago, but there's still a month to go before Christmas. Retail stocks were weak from the high-end to the low-end Nordstrom, Coach, Macy's and Target all down for the day. Wall Street - there will soon be a new sheriff in town. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro is stepping down in December, current commissioner Elisse Walter will step in on an interim basis. And there's also a surprise change at one of Europe's central banks. Current Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney is taking over as the head of the Bank of England. Yes. That's right. He becomes the first non-Brit to lead that central bank in its 300-year history. As for European markets, stocks drifted lower in the absence of a deal to help Greece.