NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks were lower in quiet trading Monday as traders returned from the Thanksgiving holiday. Retail stocks led the declines as early signals on the holiday shopping season failed to impress. Investors are focusing on central banks in Europe and the U.S., which are going in different directions on interest rate policy.
The U.S. Federal Reserve and European Central Bank are expected to deliver sharply contrasting policy decisions next month, reflecting how the world's two largest economies have moved from the Great Recession to the Great Divide. The U.S. and euro zone central banks have been on a similar path of monetary easing since the financial and economic crisis of 2007-09. The dollar and short-term U.S. bond yields have soared, while the euro and short-term euro zone bond yields have plunged.