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Retailers pull stocks lower on poor holiday sales

TheresRacine resident Far Rockaway disabled former aerobics instructor pauses with her American Red Cross coffee cup beside Christmas tree warming

Theresa Racine, a resident of Far Rockaway, and disabled former aerobics instructor, pauses with her American Red Cross coffee cup beside the Christmas tree in a warming tent provided by St. Francis de Sale Roman Catholic church in the Belle Harbor neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York on Christmas Day, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012. Both neighborhoods were severely affected by Superstorm Sandy. Residents admit there are few options for buying groceries and no restaurants are open, so many eat the meals provided in tents like this one. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

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Updated: December 26, 2012 4:14PM

Stocks closed lower after a weak holiday shopping report sent shares of major retailers lower.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 24 points to close at 13,114 Wednesday. It was the third straight loss for the Dow.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell six to 1,419 and the Nasdaq composite lost 22 to 2,990.

The MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse report found that sales of electronics, clothing, jewelry and home goods increased just 0.7 percent in the two months before Christmas.

That’s well below the growth of 3 to 4 percent analysts expected and the worst performance since 2008.

Macy’s, Sears and Urban Outfitters all fell.

Falling stocks outnumbered rising ones two to one on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was very low at 2.3 billion shares.

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