STOCKS END RED AFTER LATE SELL-OFF: Here's What You Need To Know

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REUTERS/Gene Blevins

Off-roaders with their sand rails, bikes and quads light up the night at the Oldsmobile Hill sand dune in Glamis, California, November 29, 2013.

Markets traded sideways for most of the day, but ended in the red.

First, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 16,008.7 (-77.6, -0.4%)
  • S&P 500: 1,800.9  (-4.9, -0.2%)
  • Nasdaq: 4,045.2  (-14.6, -0.3%)

And now the top stories :

  • According to the National Retail Federation, over 141 million unique shoppers went shopping during the Thanksgiving weekend. This is up from 139 million last year. This year, however, shoppers spent less than they did a year ago. "Low prices helped keep Americans’ budgets in check this weekend: on average, shoppers spent $407.02 from Thursday through Sunday (planned), down from $423.55 last year," said the National Retail Federation.
  • As of 3:00 p.m. ET, overall Cyber Monday sales were up 18.7% year-over-year. This was according to IBM's analysis of approximately 800 retail sites.
  • The U.S. manufacturing sector appears to be in good shape. According to Markit, the U.S. purchasing managers index (PMI) unexpectedly climbed to 54.7 in November from 51.8 in October. “One of the most encouraging trends we are seeing ... is a surge in the production of capital goods such as plant and machinery, which is growing at the fastest rate since the financial crisis, fuelled by rising domestic demand," said Markit's Chris Williamson. "This is a great sign that companies are feeling sufficiently confident to be boosting investment."
  • The more widely followed ISM manufacturing index jumped to 57.3 in November from 56.4 in October. This is the highest level since 2011. Economists were expecting the number to decline. "The employment sub-component of the ISM index also jumped: 3.3 points to 56.5 in November," noted Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi's Chris Rupkey. "Almost makes us want to boost our payroll jobs forecast for this Friday, but we are high enough already, expecting a 200K reading for November."
  • Construction spending climbed 0.8% in October, which was a bit higher than the 0.4% expected by economists. "All of the improvement in October was in public spending, which rose 3.9," noted Wells Fargo's Anika Khan. "Private construction outlays fell 0.5% ... While the trend shows the housing recovery remains intact, private nonresidential outlays have shown weakness over the past two months."
  • Morgan Stanley's Adam Parker expects the S&P 500 to hit his target of 2,014 some time in 2014. " With a 2% dividend yield, a 3% percent net buyback, and mid-single digit earnings growth, calling for a big down market is akin to calling for a double-digit market multiple contraction," wrote Parker. "We don’t think that’s likely. We remain sanguine, and wouldn't be surprised to see the S&P 500 remain robust. "
  • Citi's Willem Buiter expects 2014 to be a good one for the global economy. "The trademark of 2014 appears to be that of incremental improvements," he wrote today. "Yet, consistent, marginal improvement is, for this day and age, revolutionary."
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