Stocks Start in Mild Retreat

U.S. stocks began Wednesday slightly off after the previous session’s strong advance.  The Dow Industrial Average lately fell 12.26 points to 12,385.12. The S&P 500 declined 3.45 points to 1,273.61. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 12.41 points to 2,636.31.

Yahoo Inc. has named Scott Thompson, president of eBay Inc.’s PayPal division, as its new CEO. Thompson has served as president of PayPal, eBay’s online payment service, since January 2008, according to his bio on eBay’s web site. He previously served as PayPal’s senior vice president and chief technology officer.

MF Global unloaded hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of securities to Goldman Sachs in the days leading up to its collapse, according to two former MF Global employees with direct knowledge of the transactions. But it did not immediately receive payment from its clearing firm and lender, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Chrysler’s U.S. sales jumped 26 percent last year, capping a remarkable turnaround for a company that nearly collapsed in 2009.  Chrysler Group LLC sold 1.37 million vehicles last year, about 284,000 more than in 2010. It has introduced 16 new or revamped models in the past two years, vehicles that have fueled its recovery. Nissan Motor Co. also reported a strong 2011 as sales rose nearly 15 percent.

Crude-oil futures pulled back from their highest level since mid-May on Wednesday. February futures for light, sweet crude-oil slid 34 cents, or 0.3%, to $102.62 a barrel in electronic trading, after soaring $4.13 on the New York Mercantile Exchange Tuesday.






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