Stock indexes end slightly lower as major rally stalls

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 two and a half 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 borrowing costs for banks in order to shore up the European financial system.

The S&P 500 index slipped 2.37, or 0.2 percent, to 1,244.59. The Nasdaq inched up 5.86, or 0.2 percent, to 2,626.

YouTube redesign leans toward TV-like ease of use

YouTube has reprogrammed its website to make it easier for viewers to find and watch their favorite channels.

The facelift, unveiled Thursday, is the latest step in YouTube’s attempt to make the Internet’s most popular video site as easy to navigate and as compelling to watch as cable TV. In the process, YouTube owner Google Inc. hopes to make money selling ads.

As part of the redesign, YouTube is replacing its staid white background with a touch of gray.

The changes are part of the biggest renovation that YouTube has undertaken since Google bought the site for $1.76 billion five years ago.

Although Google has been steadily adding more frills to YouTube since that acquisition, the videos on the site often were stitched in a crazy quilt that often required visitors to do a lot of searching to find what they wanted. 

Green Bay Packers looking for some more stock owners

Want a piece of the Green Bay Packers? The Super Bowl champions are about to give you a chance.

The NFL’s only publicly owned team announced details Thursday about the fifth stock sale in team history and first in 14 years. The money will help pay for $130 million in renovations at historic Lambeau Field in Green Bay.

Own even one share and technically you’re a team owner.

However, be aware that Packers stock isn’t like regular stock. The value doesn’t go up, there are no dividends and it has virtually no resale value. Stockholders do get voting rights, along with the chance to attend annual meetings where they can meet Packers executives, tour the Packers Hall of Fame and stick around for the kickoff of training camp.

There are currently 112,205 people who own a total of 4.75 million shares. Another 250,000 shares will go on sale Tuesday, available by mail or at packers.com. In either case, the shares cost $250 plus a handling charge.

The sale runs through Feb. 29, subject to extension. Stock can only be purchased by individuals, not businesses, and there’s a 200-share cap, a figure that includes any stock purchased during the last sale in 1997.

— From news service reports