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WALL STREET

Stocks waver, a day after biggest rally in 2 years

NEW YORK | A rally that drove major stock indexes up 7 percent this week stalled Thursday. Stock indexes ended slightly lower, a day after the market posted its biggest gain in 2 1/2 years.

Goldman Sachs and other banks, the previous day’s star-performers, gave up some of their gains. Costco, Nordstrom and other retailers rose after reporting stronger sales for November.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 25.65 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 12,020.03. Travelers Cos. Inc. lost 2.2 percent, the biggest drop of the Dow’s 30 stocks. Boeing Co. had the biggest gain, 3.3 percent.

The Dow soared 490 points Wednesday, its seventh-best gain on record, on news that central banks around the world slashed the cost of borrowing in order to shore up European banks and avert a deeper credit crisis in the region.

GENERAL MOTORS

Company willing to buy back Volts

NEW YORK | General Motors will buy Chevrolet Volts back from any owner who is afraid the electric cars will catch fire, the company’s CEO said Thursday.

In an exclusive interview with the Associated Press, CEO Dan Akerson insisted that the cars are safe, but said the company will purchase the Volts because it wants to keep customers happy. Three fires have broken out in Volts after side-impact crash tests done by the federal government.

Mr. Akerson said that if necessary, GM will recall the more than 6,000 Volts now on the road in the U.S. and repair them once the company and federal safety regulators figure out what caused the fires.

The fires happened seven days to three weeks after tests performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. GM has said there’s no threat of fires immediately after crashes. GM also has said that no Volts involved in real-world crashes have caught fire.

RETAIL

Strong sales reported for November

NEW YORK | Shoppers taking advantage of big discounts and earlier store hours during the start of the holiday shopping season last weekend helped boost retailers’ revenue for the entire month of November.

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