Closing Bell Report

Despite strong retail sales at the start of the holiday shopping season, the markets plunged over continued credit concerns. The Dow plummeted 237 points to 12,743 while Nasdaq skidded 56 points to 2541.

On the upside

American Technology Research analyst Andrew Huang wrote that Cree (Nasdaq: CREE) has the best technology in the LED industry.

James River Coal (Nasdaq: JRCC) signed agreements to ship coal at an average price of $54.76 next year, up from an average price of $47.14 in the third quarter.

Morgan Stanley analyst David Wilson (Nasdaq: PEIX) cited high ethanol prices and falling ethanol stock prices for recommending the purchase of ethanol stocks.

On the downside

InterDigital (Nasdaq: IDCC) warned that fourth quarter revenue will fall to miss expectations due to a softening Japanese market.

CNBC reported that Citigroup (NYSE: C) may lay off up to 45,000 employees after suffering mortgage losses of several billion dollars.

Senator Charles Schumer wrote a letter to the government sponsored Federal Home Loan Bank asking the agency to review loans made to mortgage lender Countrywide Financial (NYSE: CFC).

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly the same on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks plummeted 20 points to 735.

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