November retail sales edged up 0.3% while jobless claims dropped last week but the fiscal cliff impasse weighed on investors. The markets closed lower with the Dow falling 74 points to 13,170 while Nasdaq dropped 21 points to 2992. On the upside
NII Holdings (Nasdaq: NIHD) named chairman Steven M. Shindler to the position of interim chief executive. Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) chief executive Richard Anderson said yesterday that annual profit is expected to surge to $1.6 billion. Zagg (Nasdaq: ZAGG) announced a $10 million stock repurchase plan. On the downside Shares of Molycorp (NYSE: MCP) continued falling after announcing the sudden departure of chief executive Mark Smith yesterday. Basic Energy Services (NYSE: BAS) reported a drop in November rig utilization rate from 72% last year to 62% this year. Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore downgraded Lexmark (NYSE: LXK) to a Sell rating. In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 index fell 9 points to 1419.