Big stock rally stalls as Wall St. takes breather

NEW YORK -- 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. Another rise in applications for weekly unemployment benefits dampened the mood Thursday.

--The Dow Jones industrial average fell 25.65 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 12,020.03.

--The S&P 500 slipped 2.37, or 0.2 percent, to 1,244.59.

--The Nasdaq inched up 5.86, or 0.2 percent, to 2,626.

AT&T blasts FCC analysis of T-Mobile USA buyout

NEW YORK -- AT&T says the Federal Communications Commission compiled an unfair and biased report on what would happen if AT&T were allowed to buy T-Mobile USA.

AT&T agreed in March to buy T-Mobile USA for $39 billion, but the deal has run into opposition from the Justice Department and then from the FCC. Analysts now give it only a slim chance of going through. The FCC took the unusual step of releasing its analysis Tuesday.

In its response Thursday, AT&T says the report gives the impression "that it is an advocacy piece, and not a considered analysis." The report says the merger would threaten competition, yet it cites existing competition as a strong motivator for AT&T, the company says.