Stock slip on lukewarm launch for holiday sales

NEW YORK — The stock market is closed lower tp start the last moth of the year after the holiday shopping season got off to a disappointing start.

Shoppers turned out in record numbers in the four days ended Sunday, but plunked down less cash than they did last year. It was the first decline in Thanksgiving weekend spending since a retail trade group began tracking it in 2006. Investors reacted by selling all types of retailer stocks.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell about 77 to close at 16,008.77 Monday. The S&P 500 index fell about 4 to 1,800.90. The Nasdaq composite fell around 13 to 4,045.26.

Amazon sees drones as part of delivery future

NEW YORK — Amazon.com is already cracking same-day delivery. Now, the online retailer is working on a way to get customers their goods in 30 minutes or less — by drone.

Amazon said it’s working on the so-called Prime Air unmanned aircraft project. But the company admits it will take years to advance the needed technology and for the needed federal regulations to be created. The project was first reported Sunday by “60 Minutes.”

CEO Jeff Bezos said while the octocopters look like something out of science fiction, there’s no reason they can’t be used as delivery vehicles. He said the drones can carry packages that weigh up to 5 pounds, which covers about 86 percent of the items Amazon delivers.

Saab’s back: first autos made by new owners

STOCKHOLM — For the first time in two and a half years, a new Saab sedan has rolled off the production line in Trollhattan in south-west Sweden.

National Electric Vehicle Sweden, the company that bought Saab out of bankruptcy in September 2012, on Monday presented its new 9-3 Aero. NEVS aims to make electric cars under the Saab brand, but said it will also provide gas-fueled cars until “electric cars fully meet customer demands.”

The first 200 cars will be delivered in the spring and will cost $42,500 each.

Saab shut down production in April 2011 as its previous owner struggled with financing.

BlackBerry’s CEO says firm is ‘very much alive’

TORONTO — BlackBerry’s interim chief executive says reports of the death of the company “are greatly exaggerated.”

Former Sybase CEO John Chen says in a letter to customers Monday that BlackBerry is returning to its roots, refocusing on delivering devices and services to business users.

Chen was brought in as the interim CEO after talks to sell the company collapsed last month.

Construction spending in US is up 0.8% in Oct.

WASHINGTON — U.S. developers boosted construction spending in October at the fastest pace in more than four years, propelled by a surge in government projects. But spending on home construction and commercial projects both fell.

Overall construction spending increased 0.8 percent in October to an adjusted annual rate of $908.4 billion, the Labor Department said Monday. That’s up from September, when spending fell 0.3 percent.

Manufacturing shows new signs of rebound

WASHINGTON — U.S. manufacturing grew last month at its fastest pace in 2½ years as factories ramped up production, stepped up hiring and took orders at a healthy clip.

The Institute for Supply Management said Monday its index of manufacturing activity rose to 57.3. That was up from 56.4 in October. A reading above 50 signals growth.

Wire reports