WEAK START: Stocks have risen in December in most years since 1950, climbing an average 1.7 percent, and may do so this year. But they started off with a thud: All three major indexes closed lower.
SHOPPERS NEEDED: Shoppers turned out in record numbers over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend, but spent less than they did last year. It was the first decline since a retail trade group began tracking sales in 2006.
RETAILERS HIT HARD: J.C. Penney, Macy's and Target fell about 2 percent each. Urban Outfitters dropped nearly 4 percent.