By  on March 4, 2009

The major indices tried, but ultimately failed, to make back some of the ground surrendered on Monday, but retail shares spent virtually the entire day in negative territory and finished down more than 2 percent.

The S&P Retail Index ended Tuesday trading at 235.29, down 5.76 or 2.4 percent, enduring a far greater slump than the broader, more closely watched indices. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 0.6 percent to 6,726.02, and the S&P 500 shed 0.6 percent to 696.33. Like the Dow’s historic sub-7,000 finish on Monday, the S&P 500’s fall below the 700 mark turned back the clock in a most unfortunate way for investors, putting it at a level not seen since October 1996.

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